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Understanding the Risks and Realities of Eclampsia: A Public Health Campaign Unveiled

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  • Emmanuel Byaruhanga, the Director of Kawempe National Referral Hospital, shared a poignant anecdote about a patient whose condition had been misunderstood as a demonic attack due to seizures, underscoring the importance of early medical intervention.
  • Eclampsia, a condition in which a pregnant or postpartum person experiences seizures suddenly, has become the leading cause of maternal deaths at the hospital, surpassing Postpartum Hemorrhage (PPH).

At Kawempe National Referral Hospital, a campaign to sensitize the public about the dangers and prevention of eclampsia was launched. Eclampsia, a condition in which a pregnant or postpartum person experiences seizures suddenly, has become the leading cause of maternal deaths at the hospital, surpassing Postpartum Hemorrhage (PPH).

Dr. Diana Atwiine, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, highlighted the urgency of the issue, emphasizing the need for education and awareness. She noted that traditional beliefs and inadequate antenatal care were exacerbating the problem, leading to delays in diagnosis and treatment.

The campaign, supported by the Corporate Society for Safe Motherhood, aims to educate mothers attending hospitals and reach out to communities through various public gatherings. Dr. Emmanuel Byaruhanga, the Director of Kawempe National Referral Hospital, shared a poignant anecdote about a patient whose condition had been misunderstood as a demonic attack due to seizures, underscoring the importance of early medical intervention.

Preeclampsia and eclampsia are serious but treatable conditions that can develop during pregnancy, characterized by high blood pressure and organ dysfunction. Regular prenatal checkups are crucial for early detection, as are prompt treatment and management strategies. While the exact causes remain unknown, risk factors include first pregnancy, age, multiple pregnancies, and underlying health conditions.

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The launch of this campaign represents a significant step towards raising awareness about eclampsia and improving maternal healthcare in Uganda. Through education, outreach, and access to timely medical care, lives can be saved, and the impact of this life-threatening condition mitigated.

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