Ingrid van Bouwdijk via web
Galmo Duba and Kabale Buke are residents in Abunnu Kebele Yabello Woreda. They had been well-known, respected traditional birth attendants at their village when GOAL targeted them with other women who used to perform traditional delivery. GOAL targeted such women and provided training so as to enable them provide safe and clean delivery at community level. Once the Government changed the policy that forbids traditional birth delivery, GOAL directed its approach towards the trained birth attendants (TTBAs) and trained them to be Community Based Reproductive Health Promoters (CBRHP). Under their new roles these women are focused on identification, mapping and referrals of pregnant mothers to nearby health facilities for basic maternal health services including delivery.
Galmo and Jaldesa are among the successful CBRHPs who helped pregnant mothers to get proper care and treatment before and after delivery. “The training I received from GOAL has helped me to support pregnant mothers to get treatment at health facilities. I am happy that I am able to help my neighbours and family,” said Galmo with pride. She has mapped and assisted five pregnant women; counselled and supported them to attend antenatal care (ANC), give birth at a health facility and post-natal care (PNC) during the reporting period. Galmo is proud of her community role that she is advising pregnant women to get proper treatment at health facilities. “People at my village have big respect for me, which makes me like my community role more,” she added.
One of the volunteer women who Galmo mapped and targeted for institutional delivery was Elema who was pregnant of her 8th child. She delivered all her seven children at home with the support of traditional birth attendants. However due to this project, Elema could get advice from Galmo and was convinced to get follow up treatments and institutional delivery services. Comparing the difference between her past time home delivery experience and now at Yabello Hospital, Elema said “being close with health professionals at such critical time gave me confidence that the new born and I are safe.”
Galmo is happy to hear the good experiences of women who had institutional delivery. She also remembered the stress she had during those times when she used to perform home delivery. She said, “Assisting women at home was stressful and risky particularly at times of complication. I did not have the knowledge on foetus positions and other important things by then so we (traditional birth attendants) took risks and trusted luck.”
Jaldesa who herself experienced institutional delivery for her 8th child is another dedicated CBRHP who encouraged and convinced pregnant mothers to get access to services for their ANC and PNC. Since Jaldesa has learnt the benefits of pre- and post-natal check-ups and institutional delivery, she tirelessly shares her experiences and encourages women. “Sometimes they insist to perform traditional delivery because I did it for them before, but know GOAL has taught me the risks and consequences of home delivery and the benefits of institutional delivery,” Jaldesa shared her challenges with us to convince women for institutional delivery. “I encourage all women to access the opportunity (institutional delivery) for the benefit of their new born as well as themselves,” she insisted. Jaldesa is proud that she supported six pregnant women to get the proper check-ups and institutional delivery services.
Galmo and Jaldesa are also members of volunteer mothers (Care Group) and work in promoting health concerns at community level in collaboration with the health extension workers. They are among the women whom the government has relayed for their effort and commitment in encouraging local women for institutional delivery so that the country can achieve the decreased rate of both maternal and infant death.