In Agboyi-Ketu, TBA Homes Experience Boom

It was a Tuesday morning. Passengers waited at the creek to be ferried across by the rickety canoe to the other side of Agboyi, a community of about 30,000 dwellers. It has existed for over 500 years, but remains undeveloped.
During the ferry, it quickly became apparent that Agboyi faces a number of serious environmentally unfriendly issues. Although surrounded by water, there is no potable water. Dwellers – especially children – bathe in the murky waters. The stench appears to bother only visitors. Adequate sanitation is also lacking. Their water is the toilet, it is used for public bath and laundry.
There are no good health facilities on the Agboyi side, but just across the creek is a Primary Health Centre (PHC) with 24 hours operation and easy access, but most women in the community patronise Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs).
One of such women is 33 years old Shakira Yakubu. She has no issues with her choice. Pregnant with her third child, Shakira told THISDAY about her trust for TBA. “I trust her with what she does. She is more experienced to me. I come to her any day and she attends to me.
“I don’t have any problem at all being delivered by the TBA. I am eight months pregnant with my third pregnancy. I collect my drugs and attend ante-natal at the PHC, but I also collect herbs from the TBA.
“I had my first two children here. The first thing the TBA does is to carry out a test on you to see if there is any complication. I like it here. She treats me well. Almost all the women here use her centre,” she expressed.
Barely 20, Kukoyo Islamist is also pregnant. “This place is good. The TBA treats me well. It is my first baby and I have been coming here since day one. I   hope to have all my babies here.”
For her, it is the TBA or nothing. “My sister had her baby here and that is also why I come here. Even if I have money, I won’t go to the hospital. I am treated well here. So, I don’t need a hospital. I prefer here. This place is like home to me. I don’t have parents.”
When THISDAY visited the TBA home, there were two pregnant women there. The TBA, known as Nurat, was friendly and expressed passion over her calling – helping to bring life and joy to homes. Nurat considered herself well-trained as she shared her experience.
“I have been practicing for 25 years. I am available round the clock. Pregnant women can come in any time of the day and they will be attended to.”
Speaking in Yoruba, she explained that with just N2,000 for herbs and concoction preparation, the pregnant woman is good to go. The preparation would be taken for three months. “Other payment made is N200 on clinic day – Monday. After their delivery they pay N5000.”
Nurat said she utilises herbs to rectify some issues. “There are certain situations scan show that cannot be corrected with orthodox medicine but we (TBA) can correct. In some instances, the placenta comes before the baby and the hospitals will recommend Caesarean Section (CS) but with herbs, the placenta will return and bring the baby to the right place provided that the foetus is still between six and seven months in the womb.”

Release Date: 
Thursday, December 14, 2017