Low use of vacuum extraction: Health care Professionals’ Perspective in a University Hospital, Dar es Salaam

Document Type



Obstetrics and Gynaecology (East Africa)


Background Use of vacuum extraction (VE) has been declining in low and middle income countries. At the highest referral hospital Tanzania, 54% of deliveries are performed by caesarean section (CS) and only 0.8% by VE. Use of VE has the potential to reduce CS rates and improve maternal and neonatal outcomes but causes for its low use is not fully explored.

Method During November and December of 2017 participatory observations, semi-structured in-depth interviews (n = 29) and focus group discussions (n = 2) were held with midwives, residents and specialists working at the highest referral hospital in Tanzania. Thematic analysis was used to identify rationales for low VE use.

Findings Unstructured and inconsistent clinical teaching structure, interdependent on a fear and blame culture, as well as financial incentives and a lack of structured, adhered to and updated guidelines were identified as rationales for CS instead of VE use. Although all informants showed positivity towards clinical teaching of VE, a subpar communication between clinics and academia was stated as resulting in absent clinical teachers and unaccountable students.

Conclusion This study draws connections between the low use of VE and the inconsistent and unstructured clinical training of VE expressed through the health care providers’ points of view. However, clinical teaching in VE was highly welcomed by the informers which may serve as a good starting point for future interventions.


Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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