Just when I thought I had wrapped this issue of Floxy and maternal mortality story, I came across this except from one of Nigerian newspapers. I want your comments please.
Expectant Mothers to Hospital, Get N500 : FG tells Birth Attendants
The primary Health care system Development Agency, an agency of the Federal Government, says it will pay N500 to any traditional birth attendant who takes an expectant mother to an orthodox health centre or labour room!
Its Director, Dr. Abdullah Mohammed, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday that the incentive would hopefully contribute to a reduction in maternal mortality which had become worrisome.
"We have facilities that record 500 antenatal attendants in a month, but these same facilities may not register more than 50 births in a month; so the question is: Where are these other people delivered?
"We ve seen that many of them deliver at home.
"For any of them that brings a woman to delivery room, we pay them between N200 and N500; we can't start too high because we look at something that is sustainable"
Mohammed noted that the use of the traditional birth attendants called volunteers, had not been part of the formal health system in the past.
According to him, the traditional birth attendants play very important role in the northern part of the country, including Lagos and Ogun states.
Mohammed noted that for any country desirous of reducting maternal mortality, it must have skilled birth attendants as midwives. He said that the unfortunate situation in Nigeria was that midwives could not be available everywhere, "nothing" even where they are, some women still preper the traditional birth attendants".
The Director said the agency would make it clear to the traditional birth attendants not to take deliveries, but that they would be equiped with basic knowledge. "So the focus on TBAs will be in terms of promotion what we call "Key household practices"exclusive breastfeeding, family planning, attendance of antenatal clinic, ensuring that deliveries are carried out at the facility level.
"Bur beyond this we want to give them incentives for bringing a pregnant woman to the facility to deliver because this is happening in Rwanda and it is making a lot of impac in the health system". Mohammed said another issue the agency would tackle was the reluctance of some expectant mothers to attend orthodox health centres.
He said the agency would learn from a country like Indonisia where expectant mothers were allowed to be delivered at home but would have, at least a midwife in attendance. "We are not just looking at facility-based delivery alone: we are also looking at assisted home delivery. "We want the country to grow so that we move clearly to a level where we have close to 80% to 100% skilled birth attendance, which is still very low now; it is still below 40%. "If we must transit to a country with low maternal mortality, we have to work hard on that"
This serious indeed, N200 -N500? wonderful
Culled from PM News, Monday, 30 July, 2012 (page 4)