Re-Thinking Human Resource for Health and the Integration of Unskilled Birth Attendants for Increased PMTCT Uptake: Evidence from Nigeria
Ms. Iboro Nelson

The global community has adopted Prevention of Mother-To- Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV as the first entry point of care to eliminating new pediatric infections. In the absence of any intervention, the possibility of HIV transmission often runs between 15 - 45% and can be reduced to below 5% with effective PMTCT intervention. However, not much attention is given to analyze the human resource requirements to scale up PMTCT services. Meanwhile, WHO‘s Alma Ata Declaration states that ―primary health care shall rely, at local and referral levels, on health workers, including physicians, nurses, midwives, auxiliaries and community workers as applicable, as well as traditional practitioners as needed, suitably trained socially and technically to work as a health team and to respond to the expressed health needs of the community‖. Over the years, this has been neglected and the results have been continued shortage of needed manpower to deliver health services to the people where it matters most. Using disaggregated data of frontline healthcare workers, TBAs‘ distribution as well as service utilization data across the State of Akwa Ibom of Nigeria between 2010-2015, the paper seeks to demonstrate the effectiveness of integration of traditional birth attendants (TBAs) into healthcare service delivery. Key findings from the analysis show that while ANC attendance has increased over the period under review, facility deliveries within the same period dwindled while non-facility deliveries on the otherhand increased. Secondly, with a nurse to population ratio of 1:2,067 compared with TBAs to population ratio of 1:1,883, there is a great shortage of manpower to meet the universal professional and skilled birth delivery targets especially in the face of dwindling resources for health in developing countries including Nigeria. Thus, engaging TBAs is achievable and effective in improving MNCH services and increasing PMTCT uptake.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jeds.v6n2a5