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Traditional Birth Attendants and Their Roles in Maternal Health Care in Rural Areas of Bangladesh

Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA) are playing significant roles in maternal health care in rural communities in developing countries such as Bangladesh. TBAs are saving many lives in remote areas where people have no access to maternal healthcare services.

ADRA in Bangladesh is empowering women in rural areas by providing TBA training through its Community Empowerment Project (CEP). In the Mymensingh district, CEP is playing an inevitable role in terms of motivating and empowering women for the betterment of the local community. Women from the underprivileged community are inclined to enroll in the women group operated by CEP-Gouripur, Mymensingh.

Halima Begum - a successful TBA who has received training from Community Empower Project (CEP) – Gouripur, Mymensingh. She has started her journey for the betterment of her community after receiving her training from CEP.

“The journey of my life wasn’t harmonious,” said Halima. “I’ve been struggling since I’ve got married. My husband and my mother-in-law didn’t like me. They were scolding on me frequently and insisting on me to divorce my husband. My husband divorced me when I was pregnant. I felt into a deep depression,” Halima was describing her grief.

Halima returned to her father’s house and started her new journey of life. She came to know about ADRA and joined Mohila Unnayan Dol operated by CEP-Gouripur, Mymensingh. She started working as an assistant with the trained TBAs. During that course of time, she learned a lot about pregnancy and maternal healthcare services.

“Since I performed well during my working period, my seniors were advising me to attend the training. I participated in the TBA training and accomplished it successfully. I’ve saved many lives and helped mothers to let them know about nutritious food, health, and hygiene,” said Halima.

Traditional birth attendants have performed a wide variety of tasks including outreach and case finding, health and patient education, referrals, home visits, and care management. TBAs still continue to play significant roles in maternal health care in rural and deprived communities where there are inadequately skilled birth attendants.

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