Prevention of postpartum haemorrhage in health facilities



Percent of women receiving oxytocin immediately after the birth of the baby (within 1 minute of delivery), before the birth of the placenta, irrespective of mode of delivery.


Number of women in the past 3 months who received oxytocin immediately after the birth of their infant (within 1 minute of delivery) and before birth of placenta, irrespective of mode of delivery.


Number of women of women giving birth in the health facility in the past 3 months.


Age, place of residence, socioeconomic status, type of facility.

Data Requirements:

Data for this indicator can be collected by delegated staff from available records or chart review.

See also: Percent of women who received prophylactic oxytocin for vaginal delivery before delivery of placenta; and Percent of mothers examined every 30 minutes during the first two hours after delivery

Data Sources:

Birth unit registry

Patient records

Admission and discharge records


The most important single cause of these maternal deaths is hemorrhage, most commonly in the immediate postpartum period (WHO, 1999a). Postpartum hemorrhage is responsible for 25 to 50 percent of all maternal deaths in many low-income countries and can be prevented by the simple, low-cost interventions such as the administration of oxytocin during vaginal delivery, before the delivery of the placenta.


WHO recommends oxytocin as the uterotonic of choice, however, standards of care in many countries allow the use of several uterotonic drugs for prevention of postpartum hemmorhage and, therefore, an oxytocin only indicator may not capture the use of other uterotonics. 


World Health Organization (WHO). Consultation on Improving Measurement of the Quality of Maternal, Newborn and Child Care in Health Facilities.; 2013.

World Health Organization (WHO). 2015 Global Reference List of 100 Core Health Indicators.; 2015.

MEASURE Evaluation. FP and Reproductive Health Indicators Database — MEASURE Evaluation.