Building a case for the mainstreaming of Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) within Zimbabwe’s maternal and newborn health challenge

Naume Zorodzai Choguya, University of Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe, defined by vast social and geographical disparities in health indicators and services is reeling under high maternal mortality rates. The paper is based on extensive literature review combined with preliminary findings from my on-going doctorate study qualitative field research. It explores TBAs continued relevance amidst the country’s maternal health crisis where physical, socio-cultural, and economic barriers intertwine with lack of political will among policy makers to render maternal health the greatest burden of disease. While immediate post-independent Zimbabwe’s formal health system improved so much that it killed the alternative care enterprise, today, because of the dysfunctional formal health care system, TBAs have resurfaced and continue to provide maternal health care services. Calling upon their services will bridge the physical, economic and socio-cultural barriers in maternal health service provision.

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Presented in Poster Session 4