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Eclampsia: Major Cause Of Maternal Deaths   
 
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05-Aug-2014  
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Eclampsia, a pregnancy-related complication, has been identified as one of the major causes of maternal deaths in the country.

The condition is said to kill at least 11 women every month at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH).

A doctor at the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department of the KATH, Dr E. Larsen-Reindorf, who made the disclosure, said this year alone, an audit conducted last month by the facility revealed that already, 44 women had died at KATH as a result of eclampsia.
Severe condition

Eclampsia is a rare but severe condition that causes seizures during pregnancy. Seizures are periods of disturbed brain activity that can cause episodes of staring, decreased alertness and violent shaking (convulsions).

Dr Larsen-Reindorf was speaking at a dissemination workshop for the media in Kumasi on the findings on contraceptive use among married women conducted by Performance Monitoring Accountability 2020 (PMA2020).

PMA2020 is a five-year project that contributes to a global monitoring and evaluation system for family planning and provides rich information useful for reporting, planning, operational decisions and advocacy at the community, country and global levels.

In this effort, PMA2020 developed and fielded a mobile-Assisted Data and Dissemination System (mADDS) survey using mobile devices to measure core and country-specific indicators.

Dr Larsen-Reindorf underscored the need for women to have access to modern contraceptives and decide when to have children in order to avoid some of these deaths.
Family planning services

He said in spite of the availability of family planning services in all public health facilities and modern contraceptives, more than 40 per cent of pregnancies were unintended.

According to him, if couples, particularly women could plan and avoid unplanned pregnancies, it could go a long way to reduce some of these deaths as they would be emotionally prepared for them.

Professor Ernestina Addy, a family planning consultant, advised couples to embrace family planning and choose the method suitable to them.
Good health

She said good family planning also ensured good health for the family and promoted economic growth for the family and the country.

The Principal Investigator of PAM2020, Dr Easmon Otupiri, who presented the findings from the study, which was carried out in 100 enumerating areas across the country, stressed the importance of family planning, which he said helped families to be able to take good care of their children.

He said the study revealed that despite the progress made in making modern family planning methods available to the Ghanaian public, 37 per cent of women still had unmet need for modern contraceptive.

The study, conducted to monitor the use of contraceptives by women, also revealed that about 41.4 per cent of married women prefered the injectable method of contraceptives and 43 per cent of births in Ghana were unintended.

Dr Otupiri explained that most women preferred the injectable to the other methods because it was easier and did not require daily dosage unlike the pills and could be taken without the knowledge of the partner.

Closely following the injectables were the pills which recorded 26.3 per cent usage and the implants recording 15.7 per cent among married women aged between 25 and 49.
Commonly reported side effects

On the commonly reported side effects of the use of modern contraceptives, many of the women, according to the study conducted in five public hospitals in Kumasi reported of vomiting, mood change and weight gain as some of the side effects they experienced.

According to a Pharmacist Ms Esther Yeboah, even though users of the Intrauterine Devices (IUDs) methods reported few or no side effects, the method was the least used by most of the women.

Only 3.5 per cent of the women surveyed were using the method as a family planning measure.

She explained that the low usage could also be due to the unavailability of skilled professionals at hospitals to do the insertion.

IUD is a small contraceptive device often ‘T’ shaped made from either copper or levonorgestrel.It is inserted into the uterus.
 
 
Source: Daily Graphic
 
 

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