“30 women have died in the last few months from childbirth,” said Rev. Dr. Betty Kazadi Musau. Many died from eclampsia. In addition to the communal emotional pain, a mother’s death impacts the family and community in other ways as well. Often deepening poverty that may already be present, no longer does the family have someone to feed them – when meal preparation can take all day over an outdoor fire. Water, education, faith leadership are just some of the roles that mothers traditionally have in these communities and when she is gone, so goes the promise of better lives for all.
Preventing the underlying causes of eclampsia is critical to helping women and families survive.
Harper Hill Global has teamed up with leaders from the World Hypertension Action Group to produce a communications package that focuses on preventing hypertension in pregnant women. Partnering with the Shungu Clinic, this international team has been blessed with additional gifts.
“We have only one blood pressure monitor at the clinic,” said Dr. Patrick Kilunji, director of Shungu Clinic. Turning to Crosslink Memphis Executive Director Emeritus Dr. David C. Lewis proved to be most helpful as he and AJ Kamer offered supplies at no cost. By coordinating with Crosslink, the Shungu Clinic now has multiple blood pressure monitors, along with low-dose aspirin and urine sticks – all important during prenatal care.
Distance learning is increasing the skillsets needed for accurate blood pressure monitoring, with coaching and resource sharing through WhatsApp.
As the buzz grows about equipment and supplies, so does the important conversation of maintaining normal blood pressure. An animation script is underway which will bring maternal health education to the North Katanga area, and then to others.
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