Currently, Nigeria’s maternal mortality rate – 545 deaths per 100,000 live births and the second highest worldwide – contributes about 10% to the global death indices of women in direct relation to their pregnancy or delivery.
Despite this significantly high rate, over 70% of pregnant women in Nigeria are more likely to have their pregnancy and labour supervised by traditional birth attendants (TBAs) – mostly unskilled – across various communities. The Agbowa Ikosi community of Ikorodu, Lagos Nigeria is not exempted from this situation.
However, following several needs assessment in this hard-to-reach riverine community, it was found that the pregnant women who fall into labour in the Agbowa Ikosi Beach Community must travel about 9km to get their labour supervised by a skilled health worker because their make-shift health post is not equipped to carry out these services. This then causes the women to remain in the community with trusted TBAs who monitor their labour supervised birthing process using leaves, tree barks, and the likes.
The result of this community needs assessment birthed the TIWANI HEALTH Project as an intervention towards improving maternal and infant health outcomes in their community. This intervention organised by young health advocates, was coordinated as a 3-pronged approach to educate their pregnant women and women of childbearing age; train the community Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs); and foster collaboration between them and other public health institutions for sustainability.
TIWANI HEALTH is a project by the 2022/2023 class of the Carrington youth fellowship initiative (CYFI) aimed at instilling the spirit of ownership and responsibility among members of the community, by teaching them to take ownership of their own health.