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Project information

Helping to lower infant death rates in Myanmar

We will train village Traditional Birth Attendants in modern midwifery practice, with aims of improving the very high rates of infant (and maternal) mortality. In the remote rural areas in which we work, there are almost no doctors or trained midwives, so TBAs are the only help available.

January 2018 - December 2018

Charity information: Helping The Burmese Delta

Helping The Burmese Delta logo
  • Need


    Infant mortality rates in the Irrawaddy region are a sky-high 6%, and (anecdotally) maternal deaths are not uncommon. This is due to extreme ignorance, the difficulty and expense of reaching a hospital, and the lack of trained primary health care professionals.

    The Traditional Birth Attendants who assist in the villages are untrained, and have little or no real knowledge of safe practices. Given that it is not realistic to expect much government help, they are the key to any progress.


    In conjunction with a small team of UK midwives, we have developed training programmes to teach TBAs basic mother and baby care, and effective birth practices. The training lasts one week and is followed by visits to the villages. It is repeated after approximately one year to consolidate the lessons.

    So far we have conducted three trainings, in two areas, with great success. While only time will tell if we can actually improve mortality rates, we are confident the process will help.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Train up to 50 current and potential Traditional Birth attendants from up to 15 villages.


    » Recruit the participants.
    » Organise and carry out the training.

    What success will look like

    By successfully completing the training. We will also encourage the trainees to record their work using easy-to-complete forms.

  • Impact


    At a minimum, having much better trained maternity assistance will result in reduction and (hopefully) elimination of current poor practices, and hence greater safety in childbirth. This is especially true of births with problems, e.g. breech births.

    Over time we would hope that infant mortality rates will reduce, but it is difficult to get more than anecdotal evidence of this. We will attempt to persuade the trainees to keep better records.


    There is a small risk that Government policy changes so as not to allow the training to take place. We have successfully obtained permission in the past, but we do need to reapply every time.


    We report to donors through our newsletters, website, and Facebook page, plus the midwives produce a full report on every project.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £7,600

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      Amount Heading Description
      £3,500 Direct costs of training All recruitment and operational costs for the training
      £1,000 Medical equipment Equipment provided to trainees
      £1,600 Midwife expenses Expenses (travel, accommodation, etc.)
      £1,500 Project management Cost of local Myanmar management
  • Background


    The project will be based in Ayeyarwaddy (Irrawaddy) Division of Myanmar, i.e. in the delta of the Irrawaddy river. This is one of the poorest regions of Myanmar, and consists of many villages connected very largely by water. It is very difficult for the villagers to have access to medical help.


    The project will benefit mothers and babies in a population of about 5000, although we expect that as in previous trainings, the Birth Attendants will also help other villages.

    The Birth Attendants will themselves also benefit from their pride in knowledge and professional competence, and can pass this on to others.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have worked in this area for nine years, and carried out three previous trainings.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Frances Barnsley

    Head Midwife responsible for all aspects of the training, and lead teacher.

    Aung Chan Myae Hlaing

    Medical Head in our local team, he will carry out all recruitment and organisation, and be lead translator during training.


Pays for the training of one Birth Attendant.