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

Henrik Makokha-Sandell, Andrew Mgaya, Johanna Belachew, Helena Litorp, Kidanto Hussein, Birgitta Essén

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100533
JournalSexual and Reproductive Healthcare
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Caesarean section
  • Low-income setting
  • Tanzania
  • Vacuum extraction


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