Pre-eclampsia is the annual leading cause of sickness and death of women in the Greater Accra Regional Hospital and in the country at large, Dr Emmanuel Srofenyo, Chief Executive Officer of the Hospital has announced.
He said out of the seven to eight thousand deliveries averagely conducted at the Hospital annually, more than a 1,000 suffered pre-eclampsia, a pregnancy related complication that occurred among pregnant women.
Pre-eclampsia is a pregnancy complication characterised by high blood pressure and signs of damage to organs, most often the liver and kidneys. The complication usually set in after 20 weeks of pregnancy in women, whose blood pressure had previously been normal.
Symptoms include stomach pain, feeling nauseous or throwing up, swelling in hands or face, severe headaches, seeing spots or other vision changes and shortness of breath in pregnant women.
If left untreated, pre-eclampsia could lead to serious and even fatal complications for both the pregnant woman and her unborn child.
Available statistics at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital indicate that over the past 10 years, the prevalence rate for pre-eclampsia stood at 11 per cent on average with a case fatality of about one per cent.
“In the year 2017 operational year for example, out of the total number of 6,692 women that were delivered in the Hospital, 843 of them representing 12.6 per cent suffered from preeclampsia, with a case fatality of 1.2 per cent”, Dr Srofenyo revealed.
He was speaking at the launch of the World Pre-eclampsia Day hosted at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital formerly Ridge Hospital in Accra.The theme for the launch was: “Be prepared before lightning strikes”!
The global Pre-eclampsia Foundation partnered other like-minded organisations to sponsor the first-ever World Pre-eclampsia Day held in May 22, 2017 to help create awareness on pre-eclampsia outside the United States.
There is currently a multiple global advocacy involving professional and health organisations in Australia, Brazil, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Norway among many others underway to create awareness that would help prevent or reduce pre-eclampsia among pregnant women around the world.
In Ghana, the Ghana Action on Pre-eclampsia partnered the UNFPA and the Office of the First Lady, to mark the Day to draw attention of all the relevant stakeholders to the facts of the pre-eclampsia condition.
Dr Srofenyo said the hospital’s statistics underlined the seriousness of the condition and the need to adopt a concerted approach of combating pre-eclampsia at all levels of the health delivery spectrum.
He however, stated that the hospital would continue to play a leading role in helping women to overcome pre-eclampsia and in creating the necessary awareness on the predisposing factors for pre-eclampsia in pregnancy.
Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo, the First Lady, in a keynote address, called for intensified education on preeclampsia and other conditions that lead to unacceptable deaths among pregnant women in the country.
She said an increased awareness and action on Pre-eclampsia were widely made known among the citizens and had become a critical topical health concern.
Globally, “830 women die from pregnancy and childbirths related causes each day while pre-eclampsia and eclampsia are the second cause of deaths after post-delivery bleeding in pregnant women.