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Traditional and Skilled Birth Attendants in Zimbabwe:A Situational Analysis and Some Policy Considerations


Affiliations
1 Department of Anthropology and Sociology, University of the Western Cape, Private Bag X17, Bellville 7535, South Africa
 

The paper focuses on the situational analysis of traditional birth attendants (TBAs) and skilled birth attendants (SBAs) in Zimbabwe. Against a background of a frail health care system, characterised by a shortage in skilled professionals, increased cost of medical care, and geographic and economic inaccessibility of health care centres among others, TBAs have remained a life-line for especially many rural women in maternal health care provision. Moreover, TBAs have also found their way into the urban areas of Zimbabwe. The shift in international policy and health funding toward skilled birth attendants (i.e., an accredited health professional) has materialized into concerted government efforts to increase numbers of both midwifery training institutions and midwives themselves. The call for SBAs, though a worthy ideal, is out of touch with the lived realities of pregnant women in low resource settings such as Zimbabwe. The study is concerned with situational analysis of TBAs and SBAs in maternal health care service provision in Zimbabwe analysing and evaluating policy considerations.
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  • Traditional and Skilled Birth Attendants in Zimbabwe:A Situational Analysis and Some Policy Considerations

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Authors

Naume Zorodzai Choguya
Department of Anthropology and Sociology, University of the Western Cape, Private Bag X17, Bellville 7535, South Africa

Abstract


The paper focuses on the situational analysis of traditional birth attendants (TBAs) and skilled birth attendants (SBAs) in Zimbabwe. Against a background of a frail health care system, characterised by a shortage in skilled professionals, increased cost of medical care, and geographic and economic inaccessibility of health care centres among others, TBAs have remained a life-line for especially many rural women in maternal health care provision. Moreover, TBAs have also found their way into the urban areas of Zimbabwe. The shift in international policy and health funding toward skilled birth attendants (i.e., an accredited health professional) has materialized into concerted government efforts to increase numbers of both midwifery training institutions and midwives themselves. The call for SBAs, though a worthy ideal, is out of touch with the lived realities of pregnant women in low resource settings such as Zimbabwe. The study is concerned with situational analysis of TBAs and SBAs in maternal health care service provision in Zimbabwe analysing and evaluating policy considerations.