A cardiotocograph (CTG) machine, or electronic foetal monitor, is used to measure a baby’s heart beat and the mother’s contractions during pregnancy and particularly during a difficult labour. It enables the birth attendants to monitor the health of the baby during delivery, and determine when the baby’s life is at risk. It helps to make the decision about whether it is safe to continue with a normal delivery or if a caesarean section is required.
The maternity ward at Vila Central Hospital sees the most patients of any department at the hospital, and as many women do not have access to the degree of antenatal care that would be expected in Australia, deliveries are frequently difficult and potentially dangerous for mother and baby. The maternity ward currently has only one CTG machine that is fully functioning and it is old and run down.
The provision of CTG machines to the maternity ward has been identified by staff and management as an area of extremely high need and that is why the Melanie Jewson Foundation has purchased two machines for use at the hospital from mid 2017. We were lucky enough to secure two Phillips FM20 machines for almost half price from a supplier in the USA. They have recently arrived at the hospital – we can’t wait to see them at work!