By: Kebba AF Touray
Dr. Hawanatu Jah, the Coordinator of PRECISE Clinical, said the rate of maternal mortality in sub-Saharan Africa ranges between 300 to 1,000 deaths per 100,000 live births.
Dr. Jah was speaking during the closing ceremony of PRECISE Clinical held in Farafenni in the North Bank Region, on Tuesday 9th March 2022.
“Although the maternal mortality ratio has dropped globally by 38 percent from 2000 to 2017, it still remains high in sub-Saharan Africa, ranging between 300 and up to above 1,000 deaths per 100,000 live births,” she said.
She told the convergence that the death of a woman during and after her pregnancy is a disaster to every family everywhere, but said with science and research, they try to understand and mitigate this problem in order to improve the health of all, especially where the burden is the highest; that some babies are born with a birth weight that is less than 2,500g (low birth weight), and require special care once they are born; that the global burden of low birth weight was around 20.5 million, which constitutes 14.6 percent of all babies born in 2015.
“The PRECISE study was started and implemented in the Gambia. Overall, we have recruited 1,800 non-pregnant women and more than 5,500 pregnant women, resulting in a huge amount of clinical information and more than 350,000 biological samples in freezers,” Dr. Jah said; that in the Gambia, they have recruited 600 non-pregnant women, in collaboration with their colleagues from the Medical Research Council, and have also recruited 1,242 pregnant women from their hosting health facilities in Ngayen Sanjal, Illiasa and Farafenni respectively.
“With great thanks and appreciation to the Traditional Birth Attendants(TBAs) and the health workers in each study site, we were able to continuously recruit participants over the entire study period and reach a very satisfying number,” she said.
She expressed that PRECISE 2018 to 2022 was a success and that they have built a vast database of information and bio-repository from over 5,500 women in rural and urban sub-Saharan Africa.
“With PRECISE, we hope to re-engage with the Farafenni communities because we were able to rebuild an excellent collaboration and amicable relationship,” she said.
PRECISE stands for Pregnancy Care Integrating transitional Science Everywhere. It is an observatory multi-country study situated in Kenya in Eastern Africa, the Gambia in Western Africa and Mozambique in Southern Arica.
The Clinical undertakes a study that aims to understand better pathways of health and the risk factors leading to pregnancy complications associated with placenta disorder.