Empowering traditional birth attendants as agents of maternal and neonatal immunization uptake in Nigeria: a repeated measures design.


Iwu CA(1), Uwakwe K(2), Oluoha U(2), Duru C(2), Nwaigbo E(2).
Author information:
(1)Department of Community Medicine, Imo State University, Teaching Hospital Umuna, Orlu, Nigeria. [Email]
(2)Department of Community Medicine, Imo State University, Teaching Hospital Umuna, Orlu, Nigeria.


BACKGROUND: Adequate immunization coverage in rural communities remain a challenge in Nigeria. Traditional birth attendants (TBAs) form an integral part of the social, cultural and religious fabric in most rural communities in Nigeria. Despite their limitations in handling the complications of childbirth, TBAs are widely accepted and patronized, especially in rural areas. The objectives of the project were to empower TBAs and assess the use of a culturally adapted audio-visual workshop intervention to change their knowledge, attitude and willingness to promote immunization uptake. METHODS: A repeated-measures design that used a convenience sampling technique to select 90 TBAs from the three geopolitical zones of Imo State, Nigeria. The TBAs were engaged through a culturally adapted audio-visual workshop. Data were collected before and immediately after intervention using a pretested questionnaire. Chi square test was done to determine any significant association with the zone of practice and paired sample t-test analysis to determine any significant pre and post intervention change. Level of significance was set at p ≤ ·05. RESULTS: More than half of the TBAs had at most, a secondary level of education (54·4%). The average length of time they practiced as TBAs was 16 years with an average of ten birth deliveries per month. After the intervention, all the respondents (100%) reported a willingness to always promote immunization uptake and also, there was a statistically significant increase in Knowledge (p < ·000). Similarly, the level of knowledge in the post intervention period appeared to be significantly associated with the zone of practice (p = ·027). CONCLUSION: The workshop intervention empowered the TBAs irrespective of their zones of residence by successfully improving their knowledge, though at varying levels; and consequently, their willingness to always promote immunization uptake.