Background

Even though the use of skilled birth attendants at birth reduces the risk of maternal mortality and associated complications, some pregnant women prefer to use either traditional birth attendants (TBAs) or deliver at home. Although the use of assisted delivery was reduced between 2014 and 2016 in North Tongu, the rate of TBA use among pregnant women in the district was increasing. There is, therefore, the need to establish the reason for this increase in TBA use. We conducted a study to assess factors that influence the use of TBAs in the North Tongu district.

Methods

A retrospective cross-sectional facility-based survey was conducted among 449 women who delivered within the past 12 months and were accessing postnatal care services in the North Tongu district. A simple random sampling method was used to select women who attend child welfare clinics. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to determine the factors that were significantly associated with use of TBAs. All statistical analyses were done at a 95% confidence level with statistical significance at p ≤ 0.05.

Results

The mean age of the respondents was 27.0 years ± 6.2 SD. The prevalence of use of TBA during childbirth among women was 26.5%. Factors that significantly influenced use of TBAs during childbirth were age, religion, educational status, and parity. Other significant factors included several antenatal care visits and the attitude of health workers toward pregnant women.

Conclusion

Use of TBA services at birth in the study district remains relatively high. Women who use antenatal and postnatal care services should be educated on the importance of skilled delivery. There is also a need to equip TBAs and reposition them as link agents to facilitate referrals of pregnant women to health facilities where there is a need for additional birth attendants.

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Competing Interests

Source of Support: None. Conflict of Interest: None.

This work is published under a CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 International License.