This project provides training in life-saving midwifery skills to 45 Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) and refresher training to 75 Community Health Workers (CHWs). Serving 18,000 people in remote villages in western Myanmar, our TBAs and CHWs promote simple health interventions right at the point where they are most needed. Your help will support their work to radically reverse the high levels of maternal and under-5 morbidity and mortality rates that devastate families across the region.
Villages are scattered across a mountainous landscape which makes it difficult for people to access health services. Most women therefore give birth at home away from qualified medical staff. Poor traditional hygiene practices, as well as superstitions surrounding childbirth result in high levels of maternal and perinatal mortality. The principle causes of death among children under-5 are treatable causes of diarrhoea and acute respiratory infections exacerbated by underlying malnutrition.
We provide training to: Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs), older women who hold status within their communities and Community Health Workers (CHWs), who have been selected by village leaders and have previously attended our 6-month training programme. TBAs and CHWs are available 24/7 in each village. Working hand in hand, they are able to address the vast majority of ill-health through education and preventative practices. TBAs are also involved practically throughout pregnancy and labour.
This project will impact maternal and under-5 mortality and morbidity rates in 45 villages. It will contribute to the well-being of over 1,125 women during pregnancy in the first 12 months. Longer term, knowledge will be handed down across generations improving overall health and tackling superstitious beliefs e.g. that colostrum should be discarded. In the last 3 years, the under-5 child mortality rates in one village alone fell from 5 / year to zero within the first 12 months after training.