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In developing countries traditional birth attendants help at 60-70% of births, despite rapidly expanding "Western-style" health services. Recognising the potential of this established service, the World Health Organisation has been involved in a programme of training and supervision of traditional birth attendants (TBAs) in developing countries since 1973. An evaluation of training programmes in 1986 showed considerable success with improved antenatal care, decreased neonatal tetanus, increased recognition and transfer to hospital of complications of pregnancy and delivery and encouraging improvements in many other indices of improved management. This short paper describes the health services available in a developing country, The Gambia, in West Africa, and reports an interview with a trained traditional birth attendant in a rural area of the country.


Journal article


Midwives Chron

Publication Date





104 - 105


Gambia, Humans, Job Description, Midwifery, Personnel Management, Rural Population