The E-Partogram Ensures Safe Childbirth


Childbirth can often be a dangerous time for the mother and child in developing countries. Pregnancy and childbirth together are two of the leading causes of death in the developing world, since one in seven women experience a complication. The risk of dying during pregnancy or childbirth rises with each additional child. Since women typically give birth six to eight times, there is a great need for improved monitoring and response to health concerns during childbirth.

Now, a nonprofit health organization associated with John Hopkins University, Jhpiego, has developed an innovative new way to decrease the dangers of childbirth. They created the E-Partogram, the technological version of the paper Partogram, developed by the World Health Organization.

The new E-Partogram is a handheld portable device that links small town doctors and midwifes to other medical experts in hospitals. The devise also tracks the progress and health of women who are in labor so that complications can be detected and treated as soon as possible. At the low cost of $50 per tablet and lifetime of at least three years, the E-Partogram is likely to become an effective way of preventing childbirth deaths and illnesses.

Although the paper Partogram was already available to doctors and midwifes in developing countries, it was not widely used due to its time consuming nature and difficulty to manage during pressing and busy times. Jhpiego recognized the need to develop new technology to address this major health concern and went to work created the E-Partogram.

With the development of new health technologies like the E-Partogram, developing countries finally have the resources to improve healthcare systems and reach people in rural areas. John Hopkins University and its partner, Jhpiego, are working to ensure that these medical technologies are globally accessible and affordable for even the poorest countries. Although childbirth is still dangerous, E-Partogram will greatly reduce deaths of women and children around the world.

– Mary Penn

Sources: The Gazette, CNN, Saving Lives at Birth