The application and use of the partogram in evaluating the Saving Mothers programme in South Africa in 2002.
The SA National Department of Health made maternal deaths notifiable in 1997. It also commissioned a National Committee on Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths (NCCEMD) to confidentially investigate all maternal deaths, to write the "Saving Mothers Report" and to make recommendations based on the findings of the study. The Department of Health in 2003 commissioned an evaluation of the extent to which the 10 recommendations contained in the first "Saving Mother's Report" had been implemented. This rapid appraisal was carried out by Centre for Health and Social Studies (CHESS), University of Natal. A report 'The Progress with the Implementation of the Key Recommendations of the 1998 "Saving Mothers Report" on the Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Deaths in South Africa - A Rapid Appraisal," was published in 2003. The data collected on Recommendation 5 on the use of the obstetric partogram in 46 selected provincial hospitals in all the 9 provinces was only partially analysed in this report. This study reports on a secondary analysis of the 942 questionnaires that were completed on the use and application of the partogram in hospitals in South Africa. In the rapid appraisal experienced field workers evaluated the use of the partogram using a 36-point checklist. Provincial and national averages for each of these variables were calculated and hospitals were evaluated into how they performed according to these averages using Lot Quality Assurance Sampling methodologies. Using national and provincial averages, the hospitals in each province are compared with one another provincially and nationally. In addition, the application and use of partograms in areas and levels of hospitals are described. An attempt is made to show if there is relation between the number of deliveries and the recording of the partogram. The main findings were that, of all the provinces KwaZulu-Natal had the lowest number variables below the national average from the 36 variables used as a checklist. Eastern Cape and Limpopo had the highest number of variables below the national average. The hospital with the highest number below the national average is in the Eastern Cape. In the recording of the chart rural and level one hospitals are low in comparison with urban and level three hospitals. There was no relation in the recording of the chart and the number of deliveries.