Nadowli, a traditional birth attendant in northern Ghana
While Literacy Bridge was evaluating our seven-month feasibility study in the Upper West Region of Ghana last August, we conducted a number of video interviews. These interviews took place in Ving-Ving, a remote village without access to electricity that is home to about 1000 people. One of the more interesting interviews was with Nadowli Kuubataanono. She had a lot to say about her use of the Talking Book, but let’s start by allowing her to introduce herself and then follow with her other thoughts on health, agriculture, participatory democracy, and Talking Books.
My name is Nadowli Kuubataanono. I am a Traditional Birth Attendant that cares for children here in Ving-Ving. Some women who are newly pregnant are shy to come out for the care they need. It is our duty to find those women and give them the necessary coaching to get them through those feelings and come out for the treatment they need. They need the monthly checkups and the medications to get through a successful pregnancy and to ease their labor pain. We always try as much we can to find women that are hiding their pregnancies and educate them on the importance of these treatments, and usually those who receive all the medications and vaccines have less painful and more successful deliveries without complications after nine months. But those who are hard headed and refuse these treatments mostly end up with difficult and painful pregnancies and some require hospitalization. We try our best to help everybody out so that when it comes to due date they can have a successful delivery. We also follow up on women who are not taking their babies out for the monthly checkups because it is through these checkups that they can tell how much the child is growing. If the child’s weight is declining, the health officials will tell them so they can change their diets. We teach the mothers about choosing and cooking healthy meals that are good for the child’s growth and development. We also make sure that mothers of young children understand the importance of child immunization and help them keep up with it so that the children will grow well and healthy.
But that is not all, I am also a member of the food committee. I see to the provision of food for school children. We see to it that food is provided to children at school to help prevent truancy and improve academic performance.
We also work with RAAP [a local NGO], they give us animals to raise. Our group has goats which we are rearing.
And I am still a farmer too, that is what I do to get food. I also have a sewing machine which I use to earn some money to buy soap. That is what I do in Ving-Ving here.