Birth Attendant Held Over Death of Mother and Child

Jovia Rehema Tumusiime, a traditional birth attendant in Kanungu district is in trouble in connection with the death of a mother in labor together with her newly born baby.

The deceased has been identified as 37-year-old Christine Twikyirize, a resident of Kanyashande village in Kanyantorogo sub county Kanungu district.

It is alleged that Twikyirize was rushed to Tumusiime’s home on  August 30th when she started feeling labor pains. Instead of referring the mother to a health center for medical attention, Tumusiime decided to attend to her.

In the process, Twikyirize bled to death together with her newly born baby. As a result, Kenneth Tumuhamye, the area notified police about the incident leading to the arrest of Tumusiime.

Ely Maate, the Kigezi regional police spokesperson said that Tumusiime was being held pending further investigations into the incident.

According to Traditional birth attendants are expected to refer all expectant mothers to health center for better management since they lack the necessary expertise.

Uganda officially banned Traditional Birth Attendants- TBAs in 2010 but they have continued to operate.

However, statistics from the health ministry show that 80 percent of rural women prefer TBAs to skilled attendants. 10% are delivered by Traditional birth attendants.

A Section of women in the Kigezi region say that they prefer traditional birth attendants who they claim are more friendly compared to trained health workers.

In Kabale delivery in health center is also affected by cultural beliefs, which require careful disposal of the placenta.

They claims that health centers dispose off the placentas in the open and leave them for dogs, which is a taboo amongst the Bakiga as it allegedly leads to infertility.

Statistics from Kabale district health department show that only 60 percent of the women who attend antenatal services in the district deliver at health centers. The rest are an unaccounted for.

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