On the occasion of the inaugural World Preeclampsia Day on May 22, we have signed this proclamation to highlight our support of this worldwide initiative to raise awareness of preeclampsia and its global impact on the lives of mothers, babies, and families.
We join together to bring to light the relatively high prevalence and devastating impact of preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP). HDP are not rare complications of pregnancy: indeed, they affect 8-10% of pregnancies worldwide. Globally, preeclampsia and other HDP are a leading cause of maternal and infant illness and death, resulting in 76,000 maternal and 500,000 infant deaths every year.2 Preeclampsia is a common factor in preterm delivery and accounts for approximately 20% of all neonatal intensive care admissions3. For the mother, complications of HDP 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.4
The World Health Organization has highlighted that the condition has a highly disproportionate impact on low-to-middle income countries (LMIC)5, where over 99% of pregnancy-related deaths occur.6 It is estimated that 16% of maternal deaths in LMIC are the result of HDP.7 It is the leading cause of maternal mortality in the Americas6 accounting for a quarter of all maternal deaths in Latin America and a tenth of maternal deaths in Africa and Asia.5
Too many lives are taken or seriously affected by these disorders, underscoring the importance of symptom recognition and timely and effective response by trained healthcare workers. This is especially true in areas where access to care is reduced.8
With limited understanding of the cause, or preventative or effective treatments, the need for basic and clinical research to advance our medical options and healthcare practices must be prioritized.
We support all efforts that:
- Call upon governments and health systems to recognize the importance of preventing and treating these disorders;
- 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.
Working individually and in partnership, we must continue to shine a strong light on preeclampsia and related disorders 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.
To know more about this Campaign, click on this link: