There are very few people who understand the complexity of the African culture.The African continent and it’s peoples have been studied in depth but this has taken place from an outside perspective and mainly from a western standpoint. This Western standpoint is sometimes a bias view, with most advice that has been given coming from people in the West who fail to understand that things in Africa are done differently. Western birthing practices are but one aspect of Western thinking that has been forced upon the African continent. To take things one step further the concept of Western democracy has been forced upon Africa, the result being a continuous struggle in Africa for power. The traditional trible system has largely been ignored, had this not been the case we may have seen far more respect and order prevailing in Africa.
The West has failed to understand that it is impossible to force one culture upon another because this never works. It is because of the Western World that African governments and this muddled thinking, have forced their women to attend clinics, yet, have failed to properly train the practitioners who staff those clinics. Women are still regarded as second class citizens in Africa.
New programs are starting and ending with the same disastrous results. The problem is education and in this instance specifically education related to social sciences and how to look after oneself with the basics of health care, if any ever available. We can speak of Millenium goals and Safe Motherhood, but until we have an African person fully trained, not some kind of government minister, who has walked the dusty roads and villages, and understands the culture in charge, we will never achieve success.
African women have never had access to proper midwives and therein lies the problem. Africans must take responsibility for their own education and the need to be motivated to do so. Until the indiginous peoples of Africa are allowed to speak forthemselves we will not be successful in medical care, indeed in all areas.
Money spent on medicines in Africa should be routed into medical training of the African person themselves such as the traditional midwives while there are no roads or medical facilities. We have major challenges in maternal mortality and this area requires that people have access to health facilities that have good quality healthcare professionals. This requires political will but unfortunately governments have not executed plans like this and for many of them it is not important.
Governments have a lot to do before they can ban the right of the traditional midwife. Major intervention is necessry such as the building of roads, clinics, training of midwives and making treatment free for all pregnant women can go a long way to reduce the unnecessary deaths of women in children in Africa.