UGANDA— Stanbic Uganda, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, has launched a ten-day campaign to increase awareness about preeclampsia, a high blood pressure disease that affects pregnant women.

This campaign began at Kawempe National Referral Hospital in Kampala and leads up to World Preeclampsia Day on May 22, 2024, in Arua City, under the theme “Predict Prevent Prevail,“ according to the local dairy, the Nile Post.

Preeclampsia occurs after the 20th week of pregnancy and is characterized by high blood pressure and potential organ damage, posing serious risks to both mother and child.

According to the Preeclampsia Foundation, the condition affects at least 10 million women globally each year and results in approximately 76,000 maternal deaths.

During the campaign launch, Diana Ondoga, Corporate Social Investment Manager at Stanbic Bank Uganda, stressed that pregnancy should not be a death sentence.

She reaffirmed Stanbic Bank’s commitment to reducing preeclampsia and other health complications that cause numerous maternal and neonatal deaths.

Dr. Diana Atwine, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, emphasized the importance of early antenatal care to detect and prevent preeclampsia, which is crucial for the well-being of expectant mothers.

She encouraged pregnant women to seek prenatal care promptly to ensure timely detection and prevention of complications.

Dr. Atwine also called on men to support their partners throughout pregnancy, noting that their involvement can significantly improve the pregnancy experience.

She highlighted the need to change community mindsets, which often misinterpret preeclampsia as a result of witchcraft, as a reason for the ten days of activism.

Uganda has made significant progress in reducing preventable maternal and neonatal mortality. The maternal mortality rate has decreased from 336 to 189 deaths per 100,000 live births, and newborn mortality has dropped from 27 to 22 deaths per 1,000 live births.

However, preeclampsia remains the second leading cause of maternal deaths in the country, contributing to 13% of maternal mortality and significantly impacting preterm births.

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