University researchers have created a board game designed to help African midwives prevent women dying in childbirth.
The game, called Progression, has been made by the University of Manchester’s school of nursing and midwifery.
It has been designed to help in the use of a chart which many midwives find difficult to complete.
The partograph records heart rate, blood pressure and temperature and is used to detect problems during labour.
The game’s creators noted that midwives generally struggle to use the chart as a decision-making aid.
This prevents it being used properly to prevent death and illness during childbirth – a major problem in developing countries.
With this in mind, Progression involves charting a series of findings from a woman in labour.
As players move around the board they land on spaces which trigger a randomly selected card question, which they have to answer to keep moving.
A pilot scheme carried out with 165 midwives in east Africa has just concluded and indicated the game was well-received.
Prof Dame Tina Lavender, who led the project, said: “The crucial benefit of using this game is that it allows midwives to make mistakes without endangering lives.
“The game is designed to provide new knowledge, revise what they already know and discuss with other players the best ways to support women. The feedback from midwives working in these countries during the pilot was overwhelmingly positive.”