Church birth?(7 Posts)
There is a campaigner in Nigeria who wants church births outlawed and women to give birth in a hospital. Surely it would be simpler to provide the churches with a qualified midwife who could provide these women with proper antenatal care while they pray. Better antenatal care would pick up high risk women who need the hospital and for low risk women a church birth would be less risky with a proper midwife and possible access to transport if they do need the hospital.
I'd have loved giving birth in my church to have been an option. It's where my waters broke anyway so maybe DS1 had the same idea! It's somewhere I feel safe & I think that's really important for childbirth.
I don't know about Nigeria but certainly elsewhere in Africa there are huge cost implications for people going to hospital. Entire families travel with them to cook, clean the clothes & bedding, which they've had to bring with them. They have to provide or pay for disinfectant for the theatre if they need an operation. I can completely understand why these women would rather go to a church for purely practical reasons, never mind anything else!
I'd be interested in an actual study comparing mortality rates between church-births & the kind of hospital births the average woman would have access to, rather than just one woman's anecdotes.
If the women won't go to the medical experts then said experts should definitely be brought to them... but that would probably cost more...
If this was happening in a country with a taxpayer-funded NHS then the only question would be by how much would taxes need to increase to pay for enough midwives to cover their approx 95 million people in non-urban population (estimate - Wikipedia states a total population in 2015 of 183 million and states that 50% live in urban areas where presumably hospitals and midwifery services are more available)
Birthrate was 5.6 million per year in 2000-05 and 6.3 million per year in 2005-10 so is probably close to 7 million per year now. It's reasonable to assume that more than half of those are going to be rural as urban women will also have better access to contraception choices so that's circa 4-5 million rural births to cover, spread over not far short of a million square km with over 20 languages listed as commonly used (500 languages in total)
Each midwife team would have to cover numerous villages many miles apart without good transport links between. Including mant areas where Boko Haram area active. It would be a very difficult and dangerous job.
But given the lack of a taxpayer-funded NHS who would pay for all this?
Maybe the traditional birth attendants who are already in the churches should be given midwifery training. To example if they learn how to take blood pressure or do the urine tests then they could save lives by improving ante natal care.
All the difficulties about lack of NHS, travelling, dangers and costs apply to the women and their families. Poor people cannot afford to give birth in hospital.
Here's a charity you might be interested in......
It costs a lot of money for women to go to hospital in Africa. Ive never worked in Nigeria but have in uganda and women have to pay for everything. They have to pay for a tarpaulin type sheet to put on the bed, they have to pay for any blood tests, inpatient stays, etc. I never quite got my head round how someone would afford an emergency section or how much it cost.
The distances involved are often vast as well. Women would travel for a couple of days to get to us.....small rural hospital in the middle of nowhere and two hours from the nearest main road. And then if they weren't in labour they'd decide to stay until they were in labour rather than travel back and then might be sat there on the ward for a couple of weeks. And their family would camp out in the hospital grounds and cook food because the hospital didn't supply food.
Putting qualified midwives in the churches would be fab, but how cost effective? I'm guessing there's a lot of churches, more churches than hospitals/clinics? Ime a lot of traditional birth attendants can be a law unto themselves. A friend of mine trains traditional birth attendants to try and up skill them and says they nod and agree that yes they will do x and y and then go back to doing what they've always done. And still bring women into the hospital after they've been labouring at home for four days rather than bringing them in sooner.
It would be interesting to know how many women each church cares for. i suppose that its a holistic type of care that looks after entire families. Its very different to the conveyor belt type of maternity care found in many developed countries where maternity is seen as some kind of disease. The spirtual side of childbirth is not really acknowledged by western medicine.
I suppose that church births are no different to churches running hospitals in England in the middle ages. Rather than fighting the Nigerian tradition of having the church involved in childbirth, it might be more effect to get the church involved more with health education and general health care. It might not be economical to have a midwife in every church, but if she did other health related roles then it would make more economic sense. The difficulty is that you end up needing a GP for such a role.
The sheer poverty of third world countries make it harder to have decent health care/ education. This problem is made worse by rich countries like the UK poaching nurses or teachers from the third world. Its sad that there are people opposed to the UK giving overseas aid.
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