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This study examines the use of training traditional birth attendants, or "dais" as they are known in Pakistan, to reduce maternal mortality. By training dais to adopt safer routine delivery, newborn care practices, and recognize and refer in case of emergencies, dais can improve maternal and neonatal health. While one group of women met with specially trained dais who received Safe Motherhood Applied Research Training (SMART), a control group met with dais who offered health services only. The objectives of this evaluation were to determine whether dais substantially improved their performance after attending the "SMART dai" training course, to determine their knowledge, attitude and behavior regarding maternal and neonatal health, to assess the skills regarding maternal and neonatal health, and to determine the perceptions of clients regarding practices and behavior of dais who served them. Findings from this study concluded that SMART dai training was sufficiently effective to result in changes and knowledge and behavior in many aspects of maternal and neonatal care, but the testing of the SMART dai approach is needed in other settings.





Pakistan Initiative for Mothers and Newborns (PAIMAN)