Use of the partogram by doctors and midwives at Odi District Hospital, Gauteng, South Africa
Background: There is scientific evidence that using the partogram reduces maternal and foetal morbidity and mortality. The use of partograms by doctors and midwives at Odi District Hospital has been reported as inadequate by external audits. The level of knowledge of and use of partograms amongst doctors and midwives at Odi District Hospital was investigated.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey of doctors and midwives was undertaken using a self-administered questionnaire. A mixedmethods research approach was used to elicit information on the knowledge and use of the partogram.
Results: Despite 57 (83.8%) participants having had some form of training on the partogram, only 54 (79.4%) routinely used it. All but one participant had heard of the partogram. Reasons for not using the partogram included being unsure how to use it (13%), partogram charts not available (8.7%), partogram takes too long (21.7%), being too busy (26.1%), and a feeling that the partogram was not the doctor’s responsibility (26.1%). Overall knowledge of partograms was insufficient, resulting in inadequate use of partograms. In-service training is required to improve the skills of doctors and midwives in the correct knowledge and use of partograms.
Conclusion: Partograms are not used as required by doctors and midwives, and further training is needed.
Keywords: district hospital, doctors and midwives, in-service training, knowledge and use of partograms, partogram