Pre-eclampsia, another leading cause of maternal death globally, is a condition that results in increased blood pressure and appearance of protein in the urine during pregnancy. If left untreated, the condition can lead to seizures (eclampsia), kidney and liver damage and, ultimately, death for both the mother and fetus. Severe PE/E causes the deaths of an estimated 63,000 women each year.
Evidence-Based Interventions for PE/E
Following the PPH model of targeting major causes of maternal death, momentum has built to tackle the prevention and treatment of PE/E, which causes 12% of maternal deaths globally, and up to 25% in the Latin America region. Impetus has been provided by the development of a PE/E Results Pathway by USAID’s Health/Infectious Diseases/Nutrition Office, whose objective is to “develop, introduce, and scale up an evidence-based, comprehensive package of interventions to prevent and manage PE/E; and to generate evidence on technical and operational issues to facilitate program implementation”. The mechanisms to achieve this include technical/global leadership and introduction and expansion of evidence-based interventions at the country level. Other global organizations such as WHO, ICM and FIGO are also working on various preventive and treatment aspects of this condition to decrease its negative impact on maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality.
Key MCHIP PE/E Activities
MCHIP aims to assist USAID and other global partners to find effective approaches to prevent and treat PE/E at global and country levels. In addition to convening two technical working group meetings on the topic in 2009, the Program has developed a Quality of Care Assessment Tool and conducted PE/E QOC Assessments in priority countries. Intervention research is also underway on the use of the anticonvulsant drug magnesium sulfate at the community level by skilled birth attendants.