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e-Learning Helps Women Survive Eclampsia

By Bob Little / August 2010

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-Learning Helps Women Survive Eclampsia

August 3, 2010

Between 300,000 and 500,000 women die each year from problems related to pregnancy. Ninety-nine percent of these deaths, which are often preventable, occur in developing countries.

One of the leading causes of maternal death in the developing world is pre-eclampsia — a pregnancy condition that is characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine. If untreated, complications can develop such as seizures (eclampsia), strokes, kidney and liver damage and, ultimately, death. In fact, eclampsia and severe pre-eclampsia claim the lives of some 63,000 women each year around the world — as well as the lives of many of their babies.

In an effort to drastically reduce cases of pre-eclampsia, Italy-based Giunti Labs is helping the Nuffield Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology and the Oxford Maternal & Perinatal Health Institute (Green Templeton College) at the University of Oxford in the U.K. develop educational material on maternal health for midwives, nurses, and doctors in developing countries, notably India, Mexico, and Nigeria. The material, delivered via e-learning, focuses on pre-eclampsia.

Dr. Stephen Kennedy, head of the Nuffield Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, is aiming for the Oxford Maternal & Perinatal Health Institute to offer a course in all aspects of maternal health to healthcare professionals globally. His efforts to pursue this have led to a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation via EngenderHealth, to develop e-learning materials relating to pre-eclampsia and its effective treatment.

With the help of a small team of clinicians, led by Dr. Jos� Villar at the University of Oxford, Giunti Labs has developed a pilot program that aims to deliver a self-paced, e-learning module, comprising five components of 30 minutes each. There is a basic version for healthcare professionals wishing to understand the fundamentals, as well as a more advanced version for those wishing to improve their knowledge of the management of pre-eclampsia and eclampsia, providing the evidence behind the recommendations.

Because the target audience of healthcare professionals are working in local hospitals in India, Mexico and Nigeria, Giunti Labs has developed versions in both English and Spanish.

Fabrizio Cardinali, CEO of Giunti Labs, commented: "Each year, hundreds of thousands of women in the developing world die from problems related to pregnancy - yet many of these deaths are preventable. If e-learning materials can help prevent even some of these, then they are well worthwhile."

About the Author
For more than 20 years, Bob Little has specialized in writing about, and commentating on, corporate learning—especially e-learning—and technology-related subjects. His work has been published in the U.K., Europe, the U.S., and Australia. Contact Bob at [email protected].


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