Stanbic Bank, Health Ministry Launch Awareness Campaign on Preeclampsia—’high blood pressure during pregnancy’

The Stanbic Uganda led Corporate Society for Safe Motherhood in partnership with the Ministry of Health have flagged off a ten-day campaign to raise awareness on Preeclampsia—a condition of high blood pressure which affects women during pregnancy.

The campaign was flagged off at the Kawempe National Referral Hospital in Kampala as part of events leading to the commemoration of the World Preeclampsia Day on May 22, 2024, in Arua City, under theme ‘Predict Prevent Prevail.’

Other members of the Corporate Society for Safe Motherhood include MTN Uganda, Stanbic Bank Uganda, Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB), Crown Beverages, Azam, Sumz Foods, Bidco Uganda Limited and Harris International.

Preeclampsia is a serious condition that can occur during pregnancy, typically after the 20th week characterized by high blood pressure and potential organ damage, posing serious risks to both the mother and the unborn child.

The condition kills an estimated 76000 pregnant women every year, out of at least 10 million who are affected globally, according to the Preeclampsia Foundation.

“Pregnancy shouldn’t be a death penalty for women. As such, we are committed to contributing to efforts geared towards reducing or eliminating conditions such as preeclampsia and other health related complications that account for thousands of maternal and neonatal deaths,” said Diana Ondoga, the Corporate Social Investment Manager at Stanbic Bank Uganda.

The Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary, Dr. Diana Atwine emphasized the need for proactive measures to address Preeclampsia like early antenatal attendance to ensure the well-being of expectant mothers across the country.

“We encourage pregnant women to seek for pre-birth care as early as possible to facilitate timely detection and prevention—this is the only way we can save the lives of women at risk,” said Atwine.

Atwine called upon the men to support their wives during the entire pregnancy cycle because their involvement and support can make a significant difference in their partners’ experience.

“Some women recently came to hospital after spending time thinking she was bewitched—they prayed and did everything but didn’t know it was preeclampsia and by the time she was finally brought to hospital, it was extremely late to save her,” Atwine said adding that the need to change the mindset in our communities is one of the major reasons the Ministry is rolling out the 10 days of activism.

According to the Ministry of health, the country has registered significant strides in averting preventable mortality with the maternal mortality reducing from 336 to 189 deaths per 100,000 live births and the newborn mortality reducing from 27 to 22 deaths per 1000 live births.

According to the Ministry of Health, Preeclampsia is the second leading cause of maternal deaths contributing 13% of the maternal mortality and makes a significant contribution to preterm birth.

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