In spite of significant strides made by the global health community, maternal and neonatal mortality rates are still high in low-income countries such as Tanzania. A shortage of skilled health-care workers, inadequate equipment and a lack of routine monitoring all contribute to the premature deaths of both women and their babies. For example, 18 per cent of all
deaths of women age 15-49 are due to complications experience during pregnancy or childbirth (WHO).
The low-tech paper partograph records maternal and foetal progress during childbirth and is regarded by the World Health Organization as one of the most essential tools in the fight against maternal and neonatal mortality. Used properly, it can help health-care workers prevent, identify and manage emergenciessuch as obstructed labour and foetal distress if they
occur. However, the complexity of the data tool makes it especially difficult for health workers with limited training to operate, meaning that it is not always used accurately or efficiently.