In its bid to consistently guide its health philosophy on saving the lives of pregnant mothers, the Ondo State Government initiated ‘Agbebiye’, a partnership with Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs), Faith Based Organisations (FBOs) and Mission Home Birth Attendants (MHBAs), aimed at ensuring safe pregnancy for all mothers in the state.
Speaking on the project, Ondo State Commissioner for Health, Dayo Adeyanju said the project is imperative to further improve on Ondo State Maternal and Child Health Indices coupled with the reality of the important roles women play in the socio-economic well-being of families.
He furthers, “Agbebiye in Yoruba means “Safe Birth Attendant” it can also mean “Safe Pregnancy Delivery”. The project addresses the need to have skilled birth attendant at every delivery of pregnant women as it strives to ensure Universal Health Coverage for comprehensive sexual, reproductive, maternal and new-born health care.
It is a win-win performance based financing approach that bridges the gap between the traditional birth attendants and Mission Home birth attendants. With the programme, more demand is created for facility utilization and institutional delivery especially at the primary health facilities which with Abiye increased by over 70%.”
According to the World Health Organization – Human Reproduction Programme, “The ultimate goal of the Post-2015 maternal health plan is to end all preventable maternal mortality, the strategy to achieve this goal is grounded in a holistic, human rights-based approach to sexual, reproductive, maternal and new-born health and rests on the foundation of implementation effectiveness which is context-specific, systems-oriented and people-centric. “ He explained
Adeyanju said the project was launched on September 4, 2014 after a successful pilot in Akure South LGA, data generated within 6 months of operation of Agbebiye in the pilot LGA showed that 618 women were referred by TBAs/MHBAs.
He added, “Out of the 618 pregnant women referred, 362 deliveries took place at health facilities with Skilled Birth Attendants, out of the 362 deliveries, there were four sets of twins, two sets of triplets and one quadruplet.
All the 362 pregnant women were referred at the gestational age of 9 months, with all the mothers and 99% of the babies being alive after delivery. “
A comparative study showed that institutional delivery of the primary health care facility increased by 20.4% within a six month period due to early and prompt referral of pregnant women before the onset of complications while that of the apex tertiary hospital decreased by 7.6% with reduction of maternal mortality from 223 per 100,000 live birth to 187 per 100,000 live birth.
“As stated by our governor, the investment on Safe Motherhood in Ondo state is intentional; it is a socio-economic intervention to improve the livelihood of women in Ondo State. It is a process of tracking pregnancy from conception to delivery and to eliminate financial barriers to safe delivery of babies.”
It will be recalled that Governor Olusegun Mimiko in December 2013, said that traditional birth attendants had no role to play again in the system, and that the government was planning alternative means of livelihood for them.
Adeyanju noted that ‘Agbebiye’ is now scaled-up to 3 additional Local Government Areas (LGA’s) after a successful pilot in Akure South LGA.
“The Mimiko administration is again poised to take the benefit of this initiative to every LGA like it did with Abiye and make Agbebiye a global benchmark in Maternal and Child Healthcare service delivery model. “ He concludes