Several studies show inadequate monitoring of the childbirth process which contributes to poor outcomes for the mother and baby. With a high patient to provider ratio, the staff often fail to keep up with events around childbirth monitoring which leads to errors. Our objective was to describe some conditions in which a context-specific electronic childbirth monitoring tool would be used in midlevel health facilities in peri-urban areas of central Uganda.
Data from purposively selected midwifery providers and midlevel facilities in central Uganda were collected through semi-structured interviews and observation. They were analysed to get new information on childbirth monitoring conditions.
Childbirth was monitored in fear of reprisals for bad childbirth outcomes. Sometimes the fear led to delayed recording of findings and distortion of maternity records. Most participants had the basic knowledge and skills to monitor childbirth using a paper partograph and could use basic computers.
In the studied midlevel maternity centres, childbirth was monitored in fear and with distortion of records. The providers had the necessary skills to monitor childbirth and could benefit from an appropriate electronic tool for capturing information during birth monitoring.