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The ongoing pandemic and social distancing rule has necessitated various rules and practices applied to different sectors and practices, not exempting the health providing sectors who are the front liners and the first point of call. However, of utmost importance are the grassroots health care providers who are located in the communities and are closer to the people. These are the people who cater to the local lower socioeconomic class population and become the first point of call and care for these people patronizing them and for most the last point of care before they return home, with or without their ailments. Hence, it is very important to put these community health caregivers into perspective, especially in this period, when visiting a hospital or proper health care facility is risky, rationalized, and costly.


This further informed our activities to reach out to more community birth attendants (skilled and unskilled) via the primary health center located in their communities, to train them on proper handwashing, disinfection of working areas/surfaces/equipment, and other safety precautions needed during this COVID-19 era, safe delivery (ANC, routine tests during pregnancy and obstetric danger signs for prompt referral) while working in the community and empower them with items needed to carry out the taught hygienic practices such as sterile birthing kits, bottles of liquid soap and disinfectant with different educational and instructional pamphlets on all methods of family planning,  handwashing, disinfecting work surfaces and equipment.

We invest in this cadre of health care workers because they cannot be ignored, as their effect is felt in the figures contributing to maternal and child morbidity and mortality. Especially, in underdeveloped and developed countries, where the unskilled and informally trained among them cannot be ignored or eradicated, as they make up a significant chunk of the health care providers in these nations (cultural, social, and financial), Nigeria included. Therefore, our activities are aimed at reducing community spread of infection from their point of care, also reduce maternal and child morbidity and mortality.


In addition to our existing “Training The TBAs – TTT” project, over the past five months (July to November 2020) we have been able to reach 6 Apex nurses and community health officers, 87 community health care providers inclusive of JCHEWs, CHEW, Auxiliary nurses, CBAs, TBAs, and faith-based birth attendants, all from selected local government area and staff of the primary health center of the community.


In summary, we believe strongly in the potentials of our community birth attendants and health care workers, and going into the community to get more of them – including the TBAs – on the right path of hygienic service delivery, enrolling them into our behavioral modification project towards eradicating maternal mortality in our communities and empowering the population with the knowledge and basic practices for hygienic purposes is expedient.



ANC – Antenatal Clinic

CBAs – Community Birth Attendants

CHEW – Community Health Extension Worker

JCHEW – Junior Community Health Extension Worker

TBAs – Traditional Birth Attendants


Dr. Agoyi Mary Oluwakemisola

(MB; BS Lagos, MSc. PH in view)

Program Manager

Safer Hands Health Initiative

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