Montrose study published in Africa Health journal

A study by Montrose on the use of partographs to monitor labour in the West Nile region of Uganda has been published in the Africa Health journal.

Nurse Judith Candiru examines a pregnant mother in Yumbe district © UNICEF/UN0563590/Abdul

The data for the paper came from the Baseline Study of Impact Evaluation of Health Systems Strengthening Interventions (HSS baseline study), executed by Montrose.

In July 2020, UNICEF commissioned Montrose to conduct a baseline study of its health systems strengthening interventions in the West Nile region through the Child-Sensitive Social Protection programme, which aims to strengthen systems that address the health, nutrition needs and vulnerabilities of mothers and children.

The baseline study looked at the interventions in the West Nile districts and how these interventions strengthened district-level systems to meet the needs of refugees and host communities through sustained improvements in the provision, utilisation, quality and efficiency of health services (broadly defined to include family care, preventive services and curative care), producing equitable health, nutrition and development outcomes for children, adolescents and women.

The study used mixed-method concurrent and analytical cross-sectional approaches and was conducted in 11 intervention districts of West Nile (Adjumani, Arua, Koboko, Maracha, Moyo, Nebbi, Pakwach, Yumbe, Zombo, Madi-Okollo and Obongi) and six counterfactual districts in the Acholi (Gulu, Kitgum, Nwoya and Amuru) and Lango (Apac and Kole) regions.

The Government of Uganda and UNICEF endorse the use of a partograph to monitor maternal and fetal health during labour. It has the potential to minimise morbidity and mortality associated with prolonged labour. Despite widespread global evidence of its benefits, partograph use is still low in sub-Saharan Africa, especially Uganda. The need to increase the use of partographs in Uganda is indisputable, given that haemorrhage and prolonged labour, both of which are signs of poor intrapartum care, remain among the leading causes of maternal death.

The paper aims to contribute to a better understanding of the key challenges to partograph use, by comparing the prevalence of and factors related to its use in intervention and counterfactual districts.

Commenting on the paper, Montrose Director of Programmes, Charlotte Kamugisha, said: “We are delighted to have contributed to this study which brings important insight and provides relevant data in linking partograph use to improved maternal and perinatal outcomes.”

The publication in the Africa Health journal can be found here: