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October 2021

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 1980 ; 18(4): 295-9.

Perinatal care by traditional healer-midwives of Nigeria.

Oyebola DD.

A group of 106 Yoruba traditional healers who practice midwifery were interviewed, by means of a semistructured questionnaire, regarding their knowledge of various aspects of perinatal care. The study confirmed earlier reports that these herbalists are indispensable to delivery services in Nigeria. Their procedures for assisting at births were described and the healers were found to be ignorant in such important areas as normal duration of labor, causes of various obstetric complications and functions of the placenta. It was concluded that the lacunae in their knowledge could be responsible for the high morbidity and mortality associated with their practice, and might also explain their unscientific and sometimes magico-religious approach to management of perinatal health problems. The need to provide them with appropriate training is emphasized.

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