Volume 3 Issue 3 2023

Effects of Traditional Birth Attendants among Pregnant Women who come to Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital–Buhinga Kabarole District.

Turyamureba Hilario

Faculty of Clinical Medicine and Dentistry Kampala International University Western Campus Uganda.


This study was carried out in Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital-Buhinga (FPRRH) in the Kabarole district in Western Uganda to examine the effects of Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) among pregnant women. Two categories of respondents were included in the study. These were traditional birth attendants, pregnant women, and mothers who come to FPRRH in the Kabarole district within the study period, who consented. These respondents were selected using random sampling based on a first come first serve basis. A questionnaire consisting of both closed and open-ended questions was used to collect data. The questionnaire was filled by TBAs, pregnant women, and mothers with the assistance of the researcher in case it was needed. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used for data entry and analysis. A descriptive analysis was done and presented in terms of mean, and median. Frequency was reported in terms of numbers and percentages using tables. The majority of the mothers were Batooro and the commonest age group was those above 18 years with 88.7%, a large number were peasants and the majority were married which is 58.0%. The distance to health centers was mainly below 10 km with major costs in the range of (1000-5000) Uganda shillings. 55.6% of the mothers had visited the TBAs twice and 79.0% received no complications. The main reasons why they preferred TBAs were cost-effectiveness and distance. 42.7% of the mothers got to know about TBAs from relatives and friends, though 71.0% of those that had used TBAs didn’t recommend others. The typical complication seen by TBAs was bleeding after birth and neonatal infections developed after birth which is 26.7% and 18.6%, respectively. 61.3% of TBAs didn’t know the prevention of child transmission of HIV. All the TBAs said that the government knew about their services and the commonest challenge was over bleeding, though 44.3% of the TBAs said their services are worse compared to midwives’ and Doctors’ services. It was concluded that TBAs remain vital in communities, especially in the Kabarole district, in western Uganda.  Although few mothers recommended the use TBAs, this study reveals how they are of great importance to mothers. Therefore, it is recommended that the district and country at large look for more means of improving the services offered by TBAs. Since most have limited knowledge of child transmission of HIV at birth it can be one of the most important things to teach TBAs.

Keywords: Traditional Birth Attendants, Midwives, Pregnant women, Maternal mortality, neonatal infections.


In recent years, with changes in society and modern healthcare systems, a need to re-examine the definition, role, and future of traditional birth attendants (TBA) has emerged. Maternal mortality and morbidity are some of the most important global health issues facing the world today [1, 2]. Worldwide, approximately 1000 women die each day from pregnancy and childbirth-related causes [3]. In addition, 99% of these maternal deaths occur in the developing world, with sub-Saharan Africa accounting for over half of these deaths [4-6]. In the same trend, 287,000 global maternal deaths were recorded in 2010 with Sub-Saharan Africa having 56%, and South Asia at 26% both accounting for approximately 84% global burden of maternal mortality with a global maternal mortality rate of 210 per 100,000 live births and lifetime risk of 1 in every 180 [7]. In 2010 the estimate indicated a decline from 840 to 630 per 100,000 live births [8]. Traditional medicine is a global practice that encompasses the use of herbs in the management of various diseases and the provision of other healthcare services by informally-trained health personnel [9-11]. Traditional medicine is a very common practice among rural dwellers [12-14]. The contribution of TBA in the improvement of maternal and child health especially in rural areas cannot be unrecognized. TBA has remained one of the alternatives of health resources for women of children-bearing age in most local communities of Nigeria [8]. Despite the contribution of TBA in the healthcare system, there are still some drawbacks to this practice since TBAs are not formally trained to handle medical emergencies. Thus, unguarded use of TBAs can increase child and mother’s death tendencies. Some of the complications that can lead to death include bleeding culminating in anemia, mother-to-child HIV transmission, and puerperal sepsis. These complications can lead to an increased risk of anemia, and HIV transmission [15-19]. TBAs are not hygienic in nature, as they sometimes neglect hand washing, non-sterilization of instruments, environmental sanity not maintained, and others which will cause more harm than good to them and their patients. They use herbs during delivery to facilitate dilatation which may lead to infecting the mother and the baby [8]. According to a world health statistics report in 2010, Uganda’s under-five mortality rate was 147 per 1000 deaths in rural areas and 115 per 1000 deaths in urban areas in 2006. In addition to this Uganda was reported with few medical workers in the years 2000-2009 i.e. physicians were 3361, nurses and midwives were 37,625, dentistry personnel were 440, pharmaceutical personnel were 762, and environment and public health workers were 1042 [20]. There is a need to understand key factors influencing women’s health and health-seeking behavior for the future improvement in maternal morbidity and mortality. This study addresses these gaps in knowledge and will provide a more comprehensive understanding of the factors influencing the health status of women in Uganda and ways to improve reproductive health. Thus, this study was aimed at examining the effects of Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) among pregnant women who use the Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital in the Kabarole district located in the western part of Uganda.


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CITE AS:Turyamureba Hilario (2023). Effects of Traditional Birth Attendants among Pregnant Women who come to Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital–Buhinga Kabarole District. NEWPORT INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SCIENTIFIC AND EXPERIMENTAL SCIENCES (NIJSES) 3 (3): 89-98.