First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo is calling for intensified efforts in tackling pre-eclampsia, which is responsible for the death of close to 100,000 pregnant women around the world annually and also accounts for a lot of infant mortality cases in Ghana.
Although the cause of the condition remains unknown, early detection and proper antenatal care in most cases, help to avert its adverse impact.
Speaking at a ceremony to launch World Pre-eclampsia Day on the theme, ‘Pre-eclampsia, be prepared before lightning strikes’, at Greater Accra Regional Hospital in Accra, on Tuesday, 22 May 2018, Mrs Akufo-Addo, said: “Pre-eclampsia is a pregnancy complication characterised by high blood pressure and signs of damage to organs, most often the liver and kidneys. Pre-eclampsia usually begins after 20 weeks of pregnancy in women, whose blood pressure had previously been normal”.
She continued: “For the purposes of illustration, let’s say a woman, Yaa Mansa, has the condition during pregnancy. Yaa, whose blood pressure had been previously normal, will exhibit pregnancy-induced high blood pressure.
“A test will show protein in her urine and she will have swollen feet that depress when pressure is applied. According to the professionals, this may imply that Yaa’s liver and kidneys may be affected.
“Yaa Mansa’s pre-eclampsia would normally begin in the second-half of pregnancy after 20 weeks. For a woman like Yaa with no previous hypertension, even a slight rise in blood pressure may be a sign of pre-eclampsia”.
Mrs Akufo-Addo is, therefore, calling for more education and efforts toward early detection to prevent the fatalities associated with the condition.
She also encouraged women to take the necessary steps in order to stay alive.