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Keywords:

  • community-based interventions;
  • infant mortality;
  • Liberia;
  • maternal mortality;
  • midwifery;
  • traditional midwives;
  • war

Introduction: In 2006, Home-Based Life-Saving Skills was introduced in three Liberian counties, in partnership with Africare-Liberia and the Liberian Ministry of Health and with funding by the United States Agency for International Development.

Methods: Traditional midwives and trained traditional midwives (N = 412) underwent pre- and immediate posttesting on four topics. Three hundred eighty-nine (94%) of the original participants also completed 1-year follow-up posttesting.

Results: Mean scores significantly improved between pre- and immediate posttests and knowledge improvement was stable at 1 year. Correct responses on individual steps for each of four topics significantly increased over the course of training. The data demonstrate a major change in the knowledge base of the traditional and trained traditional midwives acting as village guides.

Discussion: Home-Based Life-Saving Skills is a viable means by which to improve community knowledge and decrease maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality.