INFOGRAPHIC: UP in study to prevent maternal deaths

Photo: Unsplash

The University of Pretoria has joined the World Health Organisation (WHO) in an effort to prevent a loss of life during childbirth.

The university’s centre for maternal, foetal, newborn and child health care joined the global maternal and neonatal sepsis initiative to accelerate the reduction of preventable maternal and neonatal deaths related to sepsis by participating in the study from 28 November to 4 December.

Sepsis is life-threatening and develops when chemicals the immune system releases into the bloodstream to fight infection cause the inflammation of the entire body instead. Severe cases can lead to septic shock, which is a medical emergency.

Data collected from the 54-country study will be used to assess the burden and current management of maternal and early neonatal sepsis.

According to UP researchers, every pregnant woman and newborn babies were at risk of an infection that could trigger sepsis.

Maternal sepsis continues to be a leading cause of death for women and newborns, contributing up to 100 000 maternal deaths a year.

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The WHO launched the initiative to tackle this critical condition and foster alignment, collaboration, research, innovation and advocacy efforts globally.

“Sepsis is an ever-present challenge in every hospital, but we have the opportunity to save the lives of women and babies in our care by working together to stop it. We are pleased to be partnering with WHO to tackle this life-threatening condition on a global scale. By participating we will ensure that vital data from South Africa are included in this important study,” said professor Bob Pattinson, of UP.

“The WHO recognises the urgent need to pay more attention to this life-threatening but not-so-well-known condition,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, of the WHO.

“We hope that the results of this study will improve our understanding of the prevalence of maternal sepsis, and how it is prevented and treated around the world.”

INFOGRAPHIC: Felicia Nkhwashu


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Felicia Nkhwashu

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