Knowledge and use of the partograph among healthcare personnel at the peripheral maternity centres in Nigeria.
In an attempt to evaluate the contributory factors to the high frequency of referred cases in obstructed labour at the State's referral hospital, a questionnaire-based survey of 396 maternity care-providers from 66 randomly selected peripheral delivery units in Ogun State, Nigeria was conducted over a 2-month period, to evaluate their knowledge and use of the partograph. The majority of the personnel were nurses/midwives (45.5%) and community health extension workers (CHEW) (42.7%). Of the 216 personnel (54.5%) who were aware of the partograph, 36 (16.7%), 119 (55.5%) and 61 (28.2%) demonstrated poor, fair and good levels of knowledge, respectively. No junior CHEW had a satisfactory knowledge of the partograph. Only 39 (9.8%) of all the personnel routinely employed the partograph for labour management and almost half of these individuals had a poor level of knowledge. Efforts to limit the frequency of referred cases of established obstructed labour to the State's referral hospital should include training of care-providers at the peripheral delivery units, especially junior personnel in the effective use of the partograph, in addition to employing quality assurance measures to check inappropriate use.