Preeclampsia a silent killer

While preeclampsia is a cause of death during pregnancy, many women are not aware of it.

Preeclampsia is a disease that occurs during pregnancy, especially in the first pregnancy of a woman.

According to gynaecologist specialist Gregory Zwelidumile Mbambisa Preeclampsia is characterised by high blood pressure and protein in the urine.  This can cause abnormal pregnancy and can even be a cause of death during pregnancy.

Mbambisa says it is very important that women have regular check-ups during pregnancy to monitor any complications.

Hypertension disorders in pregnancy are a common occurance and could lead to the development of preeclampsia.

According to Mbambisa, the disease is more likely to be threatening during a woman's first pregnancy.

He says it is better for any woman who has experienced this kind of disease to use all necessary resources to prevent it in future pregnancies.

Preeclampsia can appear any time after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and in rare cases even before 20 weeks, but is most likely to occur immediately after the baby is delivered.

According to a 2011 study conducted by Dr Thabane Pooyane at Wits University, in the sample of 92 patients enrolled, there were two maternal deaths as a result of severe preeclampsia.

Awareness of the disease remains low; however, government is working hard to create awareness around communities and fight the disease.