Setting a global dragnet

It’s not terribly difficult to spare a woman from the dangers of pre-eclampsia, the sudden onset of high blood pressure during pregnancy. She must be hospitalized so that her blood pressure can be managed, her seizures prevented and her delivery induced, which is the only sure treatment. But in the developing world, identifying women who are at risk for pre-eclampsia and getting them to a hospital is hardly a given, and that’s why pre-eclampsia is the world’s second leading cause of maternal death. Peter von Dadelszen (pictured on left), an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine, calls it a “social equity issue.” And he is determined to bring some balance to the situation through a multi-pronged, multi-year project that has received $7 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It will seek to monitor, prevent and treat pre-eclampsia in Africa, Latin America, South Asia and Asia-Oceania,┬átailoring the strategies to the particularities of each locale. One prong of that project will seek to create a “treatment pipeline” from remote villages to properly-equipped medical facilities in urban centres. Read more about Dr. von Dadelszen’s mission in the spring issue of UBC Medicine magazine.

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