From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, UNFPA Trains 110 TBAs in Koinadugu District
By Mohamed Kabba
Nov 1, 2010, 12:38

In its drive to spread tentacles to the length and breath of Sierra Leone, especially under its rural community grass root empowerment programme, the UNFPA has trained a total number of 110 traditional births attendants (TBAs) in eleven chiefdoms in the Koinadugu District.

 

The newly trained TBAs are expected to serve as community advocates, tasked with sensitizing the locals on the negative vices of gender based violence (GBV), HIV/AIDS, and teenage pregnancy.


Koinadugu TBA pose forsnap shot

 

The training sessions were held from Friday 22nd October to Monday 25th October 2010, and attracted TBAs and nurses from Wara Wara Yagala, Sinkunia, Bafodia and other chiefdoms.

 

In his welcome address, the district medical officer for Koinadugu, Dr. Mohamed Vandy, thanked UNFPA for taking the pilot project to his district of operation, noting that after the engagement of the TBA and community leaders, he is pretty sure that the issue of maternal mortality, teenage pregnancy GBV and HIV/AIDS in the district and the country large will become a thing of the past.


PC Lahai ofSinkunia giving his support to the program

 

Dr. Vandy called on stakeholders, including TBAs, to embrace the UNFPA rural country advocacy programme. The Gender and Advocacy Manager of UNFPA, Mrs. Isatu Kajue, said the programme is designed mainly for the empowerment of TBAs, who are closer with the women to champion the fight in the reduction of maternal mortality rates, teenage pregnancy, GBV and HIV/AIDS. Mrs. Isatu Kajue urged the TBAs to refrain from delivering pregnant women at home, which, according to her, has played a pivotal role in the increase of MMR. The gender and advocacy manager   pleaded with the stakeholders to help in the fight against teenage pregnancy, MMR GBV, and HIV/AIDS for national development.


TBA at Sinkunia training

 

During the second set of training in Sinkunia, Hon. Alhaji Alimany Lahai, expressed appreciation to UNFPA for such a laudable undertaking, adding that the people will surely benefit from the project.

 

Paramount Chief Lahai V informed that for the past 3 years his chiefdom has not experienced many maternal deaths; an occurrence he associated with the efforts of the medical staff, TBAs and the introduction of birth waiting homes, which they use to check pregnant women before and after delivery.

TBA demostrating how to use condom to prevent HIV-AIDS

 

The chief used the forum as an opportunity to call on Sierra Leoneans from all over the country to emulate best practices in the fight against MMR, GBV, HIV/AIDS, and teenage pregnancy.

 

Addressing the TBAs during the training, Reproductive Health Officer of UNFPA, Dr. Jaria Kabba, described reproductive health as the main engine of human beings that is responsible for reproducing a child. Dr. Kabba said the best family is one that is planned, noting that children enable parents to provide good education, health, clothes and food, in a quality way.

TBA During The Training

 

Dr. Jaria Kabba pleaded with the TBAs to stop birth delivery at home as the TBAs are not well placed to deliver pregnant women.

 

She said most women get complications during home delivery, which, according to her, results to unconscious urination by the woman as a result of fistula.

 

Dr. Kabba called on TBAs to report such cases to UNFPA as they are offering free medical service to such patients.

 

Dr. Kabba said as TBAs, they should be very careful in assisting nurses during child delivery, especially with the use of gloves to avoid infection of diseases including but not limited to HIV/AIDS.

 

She used the forum to plead with TBAs to champion the advocacy cause against teenage pregnancy, gender based violence and HIV/AIDS.

 

The formation of advocacy group and demonstration of the use of condom climaxed the training.

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