Action on Preeclampsia Ghana (APEC) organized its fourth Preeclampsia Scientific Symposium under the theme “Research, Policy and Religion: The potential role of multi-sectorial collaboration to improve outcomes of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy”. This symposium was hosted by the University of Health and Allied Sciences led by the Institute of Health and Research (IHR) on Friday, May 20th, 2022 at the Cedi Auditorium.
Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Harry Tagbor, who chaired of the event, said hypertensive disorder in pregnancy is among the leading causes of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality. He said “preeclampsia accounts for 60% of maternal deaths” and “it is also estimated that every six minutes, a woman dies because of preeclampsia.” The good news, he clarified, is that, “when detected earlier, it can be managed safely and no lives will be lost,” adding that symposium will provide the opportunity to engage, educate and empower everyone to ensure that they do not loose mothers and babies to preeclampsia.
Professor Evelyn Korkor Ansah, Director of the Centre for Malaria Research, IHR-UHAS, who was Keynote Speaker, said, some women develop hypertension in pregnancy with blood pressures “as high as 300/180 and that is unimaginable.” In most of such cases, both mother and baby are not able to make it. Professor Ansah featured real stories and scenarios of women who had survived preeclampsia in pregnancy. The survivors shared their experiences in live recordings. She said for many years, hemorrhage has been the number one source of maternal mortality but in recent times “hypertension in pregnancy is almost neck to neck with hemorrhage, and we must do something about it.”
Professor Evelyn Korkor Ansah also mentioned that many people are not aware of the condition; hence, they are not able to point out the signs and symptoms or the warning signs and subsequently take the necessary precautions.
She therefore called for a multi-central collaboration between researchers, religious bodies, health providers and stakeholders for better maternal and perinatal outcomes for women with hypertensive disorders in pregnancy.
A number of speakers from UHAS, Ho Teaching Hospital, Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service took turns to present topics related to the theme. There were solidarity messages from the Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service, APEC UK/International, Judiciary, among others.
The symposium was attended by Vice Chancellor Professor John Gyapong, Directors and Deans of UHAS.