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Phasing out TBAs in Lebanon

Phasing out TBAs in Lebanon

Planned Parenthood Challenges 1998(1): 22

In 1996-97, the Lebanese Family Planning Association (FPA) conducted a survey to identify the remaining traditional birth attendants (TBAs) in the country and determine their level of education and what services they offer. Most of the TBAs are over age 50, illiterate, and completely untrained. Only 26% ever observed or assisted a trained midwife or physician in a delivery. Just over half (54%) accepted only normal deliveries, more than 75% used traditional instruments or outdated methods, and most employed powerful medications. The TBAs attended 12% of all births in Lebanon (a higher percentage in rural than in urban areas). It was impossible to determine what percentage of Lebanon's maternal mortality rate (164/100,000 live births) was attributable to TBAs, and more than 60% of the TBAs indicated that they are not interested in training. The FPA recommended that the government regulate the practice of the TBAs by giving them work permits, forcing them to accept training, limiting their work to normal deliveries only, and banning them from prescribing medicines. The FPA also proposed that the government phase out TBA deliveries within 10 years, finding alternative work for the remaining TBAs and equipping rural areas with professionally staffed maternity care units.

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Accession: 046973044

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PMID: 12293651

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