To assess current beliefs, knowledge and practices of Ugandan traditional birth attendants (TBAs) and their
pregnant patients regarding referral of obstructed labors and fistula cases.
Six focus groups were held in rural areas surrounding Kampala, the capital city of Uganda.
While TBAs, particularly those with previous training, appear willing to refer problematic pregnancies and labors,
more serious problems exist that could lessen any positive effects of training. These problems include reported abuse by
doctors and nurses, and seeing fistula as a disease caused by hospitals.
Training of TBAs can be helpful to standardize knowledge about and encourage timely emergency obstetric
referrals, as well as increase knowledge about the causes and preventions of obstetric fistula. However, for full efficacy,
trainingmust be accompanied by greater collaboration between biomedical and traditional health personnel, and increased
infrastructure to prevent mistreatment of pregnant patients by medical staff.