This year, the project will provide training in life-saving midwifery skills to Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) in 24 remote villages in western Myanmar through a team of local trainers which has been developed over the last 2 years of the project. This will provide support to a further 180 women each year in pregnancy and childbirth and will facilitate a sustainable change in knowledge, attitude and practice surrounding maternal and neonatal care in rural Chin State, Myanmar.
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.
The project started in 2013 & has, provided bespoke, evidence-based training to 126 women from 58 villages, enabling them to support mothers and babies throughout pregnancy, birth and early infancy. In addition, 15 local Trainer of Trainers (ToTs) have led their own community-based workshops in remote rural villages. As a result, a further 101 TBA's & 123 women have accessed the training programme, helping to significantly lower the under-5 morbidity rate in the region.