4 Jul 2011
Using the Partograph to improve maternal health in uganda
Revitalizing the Partograph to Prevent Maternal complications in Uganda
We have a simple existing tool—the partograph—that could easily help prevent needless maternal deaths and injuries.
While advanced technologies may not be widely available in countries like Uganda, expensive supplies and sophisticated technology are not always needed to save women's lives. We have a simple existing tool-the partograph-that could easily help prevent needless maternal deaths and injuries.
The partograph is a critical tool for managing the progress of labor, allowing health providers to detect and respond early to potential complications.
Developed by the World Health Organization, the partograph is a one-page form that can be used to:
· Plot critical changes in the cervix dilation,
· The descent of the baby,
· As well as the vital signs of both mother and child.
With this detailed information, a health provider can make more informed decisions about whether an intervention is needed to preserve the health and life of the mother and child.
The partograph is safe, affordable, and easy to use. It is a solution that should be used routinely for all laboring women around the world.
At Mbarara University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Musa Kayondo has been using the partograph for the past five years. Given how important the tool is for reducing mortality and morbidities, Dr. Kayondo now urges all service providers to ensure the partograph is used for all labors in the facility.
In 2010, as a part of the USAID-funded Fistula Care Project, EngenderHealth set out to learn just how often the partograph was being used in 11 health care facilities in Uganda. In many of the facilities we visited, partograph use was low or even nonexistent for several different reasons. In some places, health care providers did not know how to use the partograph correctly. Some had negative attitudes towards its use, while others wanted to use the partograph but didn't have access to the forms.
EngenderHealth is working to institutionalize the use of the partograph in Uganda by advocating for increased use of the partograph and training health care providers on its effectiveness in saving lives and preventing avoidable injuries. We are also supplying facilities with an abundance of partograph forms and strengthening supervision over how the partograph is used.