Traditional Birth Attendants' Understanding and Perceived Roles in the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV in Ogun State, Nigeria

  • J. O. Sotunsa
  • O. E. Amoran
  • O. A. Abiodun
  • F. Ani
Keywords: HIV, Prevention of mother to child transmission, safe motherhood, traditional birth attendants


Background: About 3.2 million people and 400,000 children live with HIV in Nigeria.  Over 60% of deliveries take place outside health facilities and are often supervised by Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA). It is expedient that TBAs have good knowledge and perception of prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV.

MethodsThis is a cross-sectional study of TBAs in two randomly selected LGAs in Ogun State. All consenting TBAs registered with the TBA association in the selected LGAs were included in the study.

Result: There were 142 respondents in all. Most TBAs (97.2%) were aware of HIV and the mode of transmission. They acquired the knowledge from Government hospitals (35.2%) and the media (32.4%). The respondents were aware mothers could transmit HIV to their children during pregnancy (67.6%), labour/delivery (74.6%) and breastfeeding (62%).  The perceived roles of the TBAs in PMTCT included counseling of pregnant women (95.8%), ensuring screening for HIV (95.8%), accompanying HIV positive pregnant women to centers where they can obtain care (97.2%), referral of HIV positive women (97.2%), use of universal precaution during delivery (94.4%), use of sterile instruments for delivery (98.6%) and not taking delivery of HIV positive pregnant women by themselves (78.9%).

Conclusion: The TBAs in this study had a good perception of their role in PMTCT. Persistent training and supervision will ensure compliance with the principles of PMTCT and thus reduce the burden of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

Author Biographies

J. O. Sotunsa
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology,
Babcock University Teaching Hospital,
Ilisan-Remo, Ogun State.
O. E. Amoran
Department of Community Medicine and Primary Care,
Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital,
Sagamu, Ogun State.
O. A. Abiodun
Department of Community Medicine,
Babcock University Teaching Hospital,
Ilisan-Remo, Ogun State.
F. Ani
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology,
Babcock University Teaching Hospital,
Ilisan-Remo, Ogun State.


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