Responding to a demonstrated need, the BPHWT founded the Maternal and Child Healthcare Program in 2000 to provide safe and antiseptic births for both mothers and infants.The program aims to improve maternal and child health by training and utilizing an extensive network of community-selected Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs). BPHWT trains TBAs in antenatal and postnatal care, normal delivery, and recognition of danger signs during pregnancy and childbirth. TBAs refer patients to clinics for emergency obstetrical care. This network ensures that maternal healthcare is readily available to even remote populations.
The program also distributes de-worming medication, folic acid, and iron supplements to women during pregnancy, and Vitamin A to pre- and postpartum women. Maternal Vitamin A deficiency has been shown to not only cause maternal night blindness, but also has been associated with an increased risk of low birth weight for the infant, higher incidence of common childhood morbidities, and increased risk of mortality in the infant’s first six months. Folic acid and iron supplements have been shown to reduce birth defects and prevent maternal iron deficiency, respectively.
Through the MCHP, the BPHWT distributes and promotes the use of three family planning methods, namely the contraceptive pill, depo-provera, and condoms. Transmusculardepo-provera was the most popular family planning method.
- Increase maternal and child health care
- Improve knowledge and skills of TBAs and MCHP Supervisors
- Encourage positive community attitudes towards and utilization of family planning
- Provide delivery records