What is pre-eclampsia?
Pre-eclampsia is a condition characterized by high blood pressure during pregnancy with signs of damage to another organ systems, most commonly the liver and kidneys. It complicates 8-10% of pregnancies and is a leading cause of maternal and infant death with 76,000 maternal deaths and 500,000 infant deaths each year worldwide.
Pre-eclampsia is a common factor in preterm delivery and accounts for approximately 20% of all neonatal intensive care admissions. For the mother, complications of the hypertensive disorders of pregnancy cause illness for an extended period of time and are strongly associated with the future development of a range of debilitating non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes and renal impairment. The World Health Organization has highlighted that the condition has a highly disproportionate impact on low-to-middle income countries, where over 99% of pre-eclampsia-related deaths occur. It is estimated that 16% of maternal deaths in low-to-middle income countries result from pre-eclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. It is the leading cause of maternal mortality in the Americas, accounting for a quarter of all maternal deaths in Latin America, and a tenth of maternal deaths in Africa and Asia.
What is being done to reduce the burden of pre-eclampsia?
The PRE-EMPT (PRE-eclampsia & Eclampsia Monitoring, Prevention & Treatment) initiative, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and spearheaded by Dr. Peter von Dadelszen, was launched in November 2010 to develop, test and introduce new knowledge to reduce the unacceptable burden of pre-eclampsia. After seven years of effort spanning more than a dozen countries, the results of the initiatives are nearly ready to be shared.
The Community-Levels Interventions for Pre-eclampsia (CLIP) within the PRE-EMPT initiative worked specifically to reduce delays in failing to identify and rapidly managing pre-eclampsia and eclampsia at the community level in low- and middle- income countries. CLIP primarily worked in rural Mozambique, Pakistan and India through empowering community health workers with an mHealth tool, the PIERS on the Move app (POM), to identify and triage cases of pre-eclampsia. The CLIP Trials are no longer recruiting and are currently undergoing analyses.
How can I learn more about PRE-EMPT and the CLIP trial?
Dr. Peter von Dadelszen, the PI of PRE-EMPT, will be giving two talks in Vancouver about community based interventions to reduce pre-eclampsia in low- and middle- income countries. The first talk is a Healthy Starts seminar on ‘The Community Level Interventions for Pre-eclampsia (CLIP) Trials’ on May 23 from 3:30-5:00pm followed by a reception. The second talk will be at the BC Women’s Hospital Interprofessional Grand Rounds on ‘PRE-EMPT’s Global Trials Results’ on May 24 from 8:00-9:00am. Both talks will be at the Chan Auditorium at the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute.
These talks are a part of wider events during the week of World Preeclampsia Day on May 22.
Join us in celebrating World Preeclampsia Day
Last year’s inaugural event brought people all over the world together with an online social outreach of over 570,000 people and with events from Dublin, Ireland to Sydney, Australia to Ghana and Uganda and more. This year on May 22, 2018, we hope to make it even bigger. PRE-EMPT will be hosting an information booth with fact sheets, videos, games, small prizes and more at the Chieng Family Atrium in the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute between 10:00am-3:00pm on World Preeclampsia Day. Additionally, we are very excited to announce that BC Place, Vancouver City Hall, Vancouver Convention Centre and Science World will be joining us on our commitment to women’s health and raising awareness for pre-eclampsia by lighting up orange on World Preeclampsia Day this year.