A legal think-thank, Centre for Constitutional Order (CENCORD), has launched Ghana Action on Preeclampsia Campaign Project (GHAPEC).
The launch, which coincided with World Preeclampsia Day yesterday, May 22, was held at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra.
Preeclampsia is a serious complication of pregnancy that is related to high blood pressure and can strike fast as lightening.
In his address, Executive Director of CENCORD, Solomon Osei Fosu, indicated the commitment of his outfit to advance and protect the rights of individual Ghanaians, particularly on issues of health, as guaranteed by the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.
According to him, CENCORD became alarmed after one of its fellows experienced preeclampsia and eclampsis.
That situation, he pointed out, compelled them to conduct a survey to find out if Ghanaian women knew what preeclampsia and its effects were.
The survey, he said, was done on over 500 women who were between the ages of 20-35, and it was conducted from March to April, 2017.
“Our survey turned out that only 2% had heard the name and read something about it. 5% had heard the word but did not know what actually it is, while 93% had not heard the word at all,” he disclosed.
According to the executive director of CENCORD, following the result of the research, his outfit took it upon itself to embark on a campaign against the disease bemoaning therefore that “our women and babies die from ignorance because of the silence on preeclampsia.”
“As a legal think-thank we know basic human rights include right to life, therefore, we find it necessary to support and educate our women on this deadly pregnancy hypertensive induced disease called preeclampsia,” he added
He disclosed that the campaign project on preeclampsia will run for a five-year period, expressing optimism that it will achieve its target by the time the campaign ends.
Earlier, Project Lead of GHAPEC and a Fellow of CENCORD, Mrs. Koiwah Koi-Larbi Ofosuapea, recalled when she first experienced the disease.
She said as a mother of one and still under 30 years, she suffered fatal and cruel menace of pregnancy.
“Twice my husband and I have had to bury our two sons. My own life has been at risk because of this disease,” she recounted.
Speaking on the 2017 global theme for the World Preeclampsia Day: “Be Prepared Before Lightning Strikes,” she said: “we cannot and will not go through this anymore because of the fear and the mental agony one goes through.”
To this end, she called on all and sundry to help work create the necessary awareness as a form of campaign to fight the disease.
Globally, preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are leading causes of maternal and infant illness and death, resulting in 76,000 and 500,000 infant deaths every year.
By: Atta Kwaku Boadi