Kakata — Community Healthcare Initiative-CHI, a local NGO into health and advocacy Wednesday conducted a one-day consultative maternal health meeting in partnership with the Margibi Health Team to brainstorm on how the relationship between Train Traditional Midwives-TTM and Medical facilities in Margibi County can be strengthen.
Giving an overview of the meeting, the Executive Director of CHI, Naomi T. Solanke explained that CHI as a healthcare organization has realized that TTM though not lettered like Professional Midwives also play a key role in contributing towards strengthening the healthcare system in Liberia.
"They are the ones doing referrals; they are the ones living in the community with the pregnant women; they are the ones supporting the pregnant women until the pregnant women get full term," explained Madame Solanke.
She continued: "but within our law there is no compensation for the TTMs instead there is harsh punishment there for them."
Grand Bassa and Monsterrdo counties are expected to benefit from the same consultative meeting in the coming weeks.
The CHI boss furthered that the main focus of the meeting was to look at challenges faced by communities as it relates to maternal mortality and how they[communities] can work together in partnering with the County health system in ensuring that maternal mortality decreases.
She added that before western medicine or civilization, there were TTMs "these people were providing services within the communities so why are we demonizing them, I think we just need to build on their skills in ensuring that we strengthen the traditional practice along with the western practice for a healthy society."
Madame Solanke also said that, because the common goal of both traditional and western cultures when it comes to reducing maternal mortality is good health, both sides have to work together to become partners in ensuring they both contribute effectively to the health sector.
These meetings are a part of activities under the project titled: "strengthening the health system while challenging colonialism," which is being funded by the Open Society in West Africa-OSIWA.
According to the background of the meeting, Margibi was chosen as one of the counties to begin said consultation because it [Margibi] is rated as the second highest when it comes to maternal mortality in Liberia.
From 2020 to present, Margibi has recorded 19 maternal deaths.