MATERNAL HEALTH: Women still prefer to deliver at home rather than hospitals

Birth attendants top choice for pregnant mums in rural Kisumu. PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • Eighty-nine-year-old Helena, a famed traditional birth attendant (TBA) with over 30 years’ experience, records the names of the parents, the babies and other personal details.
  • Some of her clients are women who delivered their first babies in hospital, but vowed never to return due to the “unpleasant” treatment from the nurses.
  • A 2016 survey of 100 unskilled birth attendants in western Kenya found that they still use inappropriate or outdated practices to deal with obstetric complications.
  • The current nurse to patient ratio of 83 nurses for every 10,000 patients falls short of the WHO recommendation of 25 nurses for every 10,000 patients, according to numbers from the Kenya Health Worker Report.

Hellen Anyango Singu or Helena Nyakasagam, as she is popularly known, is a revered woman in Kokumu Village in Kisumu County.


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