World Preeclampsia Day
Preeclampsia is a condition characterized by high blood pressure during pregnancy with signs of damage to another organ system, most commonly the liver and kidneys. It affects 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.
Why is World Preeclampsia Day important
Maternal deaths related to the HDPs are preventable.
The HDPs are also a leading cause of maternal and infant illness. Preeclampsia is a common cause of caregiver-initiated preterm delivery and accounts for approximately 20% of all intensive care unit admissions of newborn babies3. For the mother, complications of the HDPs can cause complications with long-lasting sequelae, such as stroke, and the HDPs are strongly associated with a heightened risk of future risk of cardiovascular disease, the leading non-communicable disease (NCD), worldwide.4
The WHO has highlighted that the NCDs, like the HDPs, have a disproportionately high impact in low-to-middle income countries (LMICs), where more than 99% of preeclampsia cases occur.6
Too many lives are taken or seriously affected by these disorders and the NCDs that result from them, underscoring the importance of detection and prevention, symptom recognition, and timely and effective response by trained healthcare workers. This is especially true in countries where access to care is limited. With no known cause, the need for basic and clinical research to advance our medical understanding and healthcare practices must be prioritized.
How to observe World Preeclampsia Day
We support all efforts that:
- Call upon governments and health systems to recognize the importance of detecting and diagnosing risk factors, and preventing and treating the HDPs and related NCDs;
- Encourage additional research funding into preeclampsia and related disorders;
- Prioritize patient and community education and treatment for these disorders;
- Prioritize education, training, and access to medical resources for healthcare providers;
- Address prevention through a better understanding of the causes and through access to appropriate, safe, and effective treatments;
- Encourage collaboration and partnerships between public and private sector organizations to support and advance these goals.
As we mark this, let’s focus on a fact:
- Working individually and in partnership, we must continue to shine a strong light on HDP and related NCDs to ensure that they are minimized and their tragic impact reduced. The opportunity to reduce the prevalence of these disorders and their impact on women, infants, families, and communities worldwide is within our grasp.
In order to celebrate today effectively, here is a list of resources you can use to make the day special – or to plan ahead
- Preeclampsia Foundation – Information for Women and Families
- March of Dimes – Information on Preeclampsia
- Preeclampsia Foundation – Postpartum Preeclampsia
- Support for Survivors of Preeclampsia
- Preeclampsia Fact Sheet
- Health Action Sheet – Low-dose aspirin to prevent preeclampsia and premature birth
- Poster – Act Early! Screen Early!
- Preeclampsia Foundation Marketplace – NOT WORKING
- UN and other international NGO
- Non-Profits website for the observance
- Preeclampsia Awareness Day Toolkit