Traditional birth attendants in rural Kenya : practices and roles in transition

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Sang, Esther Cherotich
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Health Sciences
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Lethbridge, Alta. : Universtiy of Lethbridge, Faculty of Health Sciences
Despite recommendations by the World Health Organization on the utilization of skilled health care providers, women living in rural Kenya still use other services such as those offered by traditional birth attendants (TBAs). The role of TBAs in health service delivery has been shaped by political, economic and cultural influences. However, the literature reveals few instances where TBAs have been invited to share perceptions about their potential to enhance health for childbearing families in rural Kenya. An exploratory naturalistic inquiry design was used to guide interviews with five participants in this study. The findings reveal how the TBAs’ work is transitioning from traditional to more modern methods of support for childbearing women, to align more effectively with formal health care services. The findings will assist TBAs to integrate more fully with the health care team while providing an opportunity to create or strengthen policies that support their work.
health care accessibility , informal healthcare , maternal health , rural Kenya , TBA training , traditional birth attendants