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The Partograph for the Prevention of Obstructed Labor


Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology:
doi: 10.1097/GRF.0b013e3181a4f163
Obstetric Practice in the Third World

Obstructed labor is an important cause of maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity. The partograph graphically represents key events in labor and provides an early warning system. The World Health Organization partographs are the best known partographs in low resource settings. Experiences with World Health Organization and other types of partographs in low resource settings suggest that when used with defined management protocols, this inexpensive tool can effectively monitor labor and prevent obstructed labor. However, challenges to implementation exist and these should be addressed urgently.

Author Information

Department of Making Pregnancy Safer, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland

Correspondence: Matthews Mathai, MD, MObstet, PhD, Department of Making Pregnancy Safer, World Health Organization, Avenue Appia 20, Geneva, Switzerland CH 1211. E-mail:

Disclaimer: The author is a staff member of the World Health Organization. However this manuscript does not necessarily represent the decisions or the stated policy of the World Health Organization.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.