- Traditional birth attendants are filling the vacuum created by insufficient medical care in Nigeria
- According to WHO, maternal mortality is very high in the country, with the northeast being the worst zone
- Fatima and Murja are some of the women who are using their uneducated skill to save pregnant women's lives
The place of traditional birth attendants in the country cannot be overemphasised in north-eastern Nigeria with the highest maternal mortality rate in the country, according to the World Health Organisation.
ICRC reports that 800 women die in every 100,000 live births, making Nigeria, a very dangerous place to be a mother.
Some women in the region are navigating that reality with an uncommon skill that makes them reliable traditional birth attendants.
Samuel Okech, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)'s health coordinator, said that the region is doomed without the help that the women offer.
Murja is one of those women. She explained how she owes everything to her grandmother, recalling how her grandmother always stressed the need for them to carry the lineage skill.
Famata is also another one of those women that the ICRC coordinator met in the region who are trying to ensure women are well catered for despite the crisis ravaging the region.
He added that though the women lack basic medical education, the importance of their work shows the need for them to be engaged and trained.
"There is no other way to address this problem but to engage with the traditional birth attendants and train them," he added.
He said that the best way to proffer a solution to the maternal mortality rate is to involve the attendants so pregnant women can come to the hospital for an earlier complication detection.
"Involving traditional birth attendants was a way for us to reach pregnant women and encourage them to come to the clinic, where we can detect complications," he said.
Fatimah said she is not doing what she is doing for money but to help women.
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