Experiences with perinatal death reviews in South Africa – the Perinatal Problem Identification Programme: scaling up from programme to province to country

This article, published by the International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2014, discusses the development of the Perinatal Problem Identification Programme (PPIP) in South Africa, which was first implemented in a few hospitals in 1990 as a facility audit tool to improve the quality of maternal and newborn care. By 2012, PPIP became a requirement for all public health facilities delivering newborns and was introduced to all districts across the country.

The article describes the various functions of PPIP, including the audit cycle, data entry, verification and analysis, and training. Rhoda and colleagues detail the experiences of two facilities – Western Cape and Mpumalanga – that have been implementing PPIP the longest and offer two differing experiences that may be helpful to other facilities interested in using perinatal death audit. Finally, the authors draw on the strengths, challenges and opportunities of PPIP, concluding that with adequate support, training and guidance, PPIP can help mothers and their newborns survive in South Africa.