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Majority of premature babies born due to pre-eclampsia die

By Violet Nabatanzi

Added 26th May 2017 12:58 PM

There is a need to expand access of commodities for the prevention and early detection and treatment of pre-eclampsia

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The head of the labour ward at Mulago Hospital, Dr Annet Nakimuli, and the assistant commissioner for child health at the Ministry of Health, Dr Jessica Nsugwa, chat with another participant at Golf Course Hotel. Photo by Violet Nabatanzi

Health experts have said that majority of the premature babies born to mothers who have suffered from pre-eclampsia condition die.

Pre-eclampsia is a disease condition in pregnancy characterized by high blood pressure.

In Uganda, 368 per 100,000 live births die from pregnancy and childbirth-related causes. Pre-eclampsia and eclampsia is one of the most common causes of maternal deaths and it accounts 6% of maternal deaths after postpartum hemorrhage.

Speaking during a press conference organized by members of health systems advocacy partnership at Golf Course hotel the head of Labour ward Mulago National referral hospital Dr Annet Nakimuli said the hospital’s Special care Unit (SCU) admits 100 new-born babies and half of them are born prematurely due to pre-eclampsia.

“Half of the premature babies at the unit are born due to pre-eclampsia because we have to make the mother deliver before full time in order for them to recover,” Nakimuli said.

She said on a daily basis Mulago admits four mothers due to this condition. She encouraged expectant mothers to attend antenatal care adding that the best way for them to know that they have pre-eclampsia is by having their blood pressure taken.

Symptoms

Severe headache that does not cure even with medication, pain in the upper right part of the abdomen with nausea or vomiting, body swelling, for example face, hands and abnormal weight gain among others.

Dr Jessica Nsugwa assistant commissioner child health said the ministry is working with National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) to improve birth and death registration adding that about $10m grant has been put aside for the exercise.

“One of the things we shall do in the death registration, we shall audit all deaths from health facilities and find out the cause of death that is how we shall know how many people are deing of pre-eclampsia country wide,” Nsugwa.

Denis Kibira from Coalition for Health Promotion and Social Development (HEPS) called for a need to expand access of commodities for the prevention and early detection and treatment of pre-eclampsia.

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