WINSENGA UPDATE/BULLETIN 30.0 – Traditional birth attendants contribute to infant deaths

Excerpts from

Traditional birth attendants (TBAs) in Nakuru County are believed to be a leading cause of infant deaths.

In communities where the TBAs are still part of their cultural practices, they have a high social standing especially where deliveries are done at home as opposed to a health facility.

But what is of great concern is that most of these TBAs contribute to increased maternal and perinatal mortality rates since they mainly rely on traditional practices some of which are harmful to the mothers and their babies.

At the same time, most are concerned with earning a living from their practice and therefore do not consider the dangers they may be putting expectant mothers and the unborn babies into.

The TBAs, who mostly practice secretly, keep new mothers away from proper medical attention offered at health facilities for more than a week in order to earn more and hence deny the infants the needed care.

Some have even admitted that they have let infants whom they know are having serious complication stay under their care.

“The more they stay with us, the more money we earn. They pay at least Sh400 a day and in a week this translates to Sh2400.
This is enough for me to push through another week,” said Jane Wangechi (not her real name), a TBA in Mai Mahiu.