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In the happy process of bringing forth life, difficulties arise leading to the death of the mother, the baby or both. Most deaths due to pre-eclampsia in this process of bringing forth life is avoidable since medical solutions to these conditions are available. The main objectives of the study is to assess the knowledge and effects of pre-eclampsia on pregnancy at the Regional Hospital, Buea. This study was carried out in Buea Regional Hospital South West Region of Cameroon. A hundred and twenty (120) research participants were involved in these studies. A self- structure questionnaire with closed ended questions was given to each respondent and data were collected. The data was presented using frequency distribution and percentage, 28.3% of the women have knowledge on pre-eclampsia, the effects of pre-eclampsia on Gravidity. From the analysis of the respondent, the highest was primi gravida with (46.7 %) while the lowest was gravida 5-10 with (7.5%).  And 70.8% of the new born have effect on pre-eclampsia. With respect to the presentation and analysis of the results, it is concluded that preeclampsia among pregnant women have been influenced by lack of adequate information. Due to this knowledge deficit, much is required to be done aimed at improving knowledge regarding this problem.

 There is little or no awareness of postpartum preeclampsia, due to the effects on  gravidity.

 Few participants knows the complications of preeclampsia to mothers and also few knows the complications of preeclampsia to the fetus. Because of the effects of pre-eclampsia on the newborn.



Background to the Study

Pre-eclampsia is a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy diagnosed after 20 weeks of gestation which affect one in 12 pregnancies and mostly start during the second half of pregnancy or six weeks after delivery. This condition has been taking away a lot of maternal and fetal life for over two-decade (WHO, 2012). Pre-eclampsia continues to harm humanity causing not only death but a lot of human suffering. Hypertensive disorders in pregnancy are a leading cause of maternal and prenatal morbidity and mortality worldwide, counting up to 25% of maternal death (CDC, 2015).

Pre-eclampsia and related hypertensive disorders of pregnancy impact 5 to 8% of all birth in the US. Incidence rate of pre-eclampsia alone in the US, Canada and Western   Europe, ranging from a lower level of 4% of all deliveries to a higher level of 18% in parts of Africa. The variation in incidence rates is driven by the diversity of definition and other criteria including procedures, tests and their methodologies (Mayo, 2011). In Cameroon, a woman is 7times likely to develop pre-eclampsia as a woman in developed country. From 10 to 25% of this case will result in maternal death (Dolea et al., 2003).

Pre-eclampsia should be detected and appropriately managed before the onset of convulsion (Eclampsia) and other life-threatening complications.

Drugs should be given when the blood pressure is 160/110mmHg such as anticonvulsants (Magnesium Sulphate, Hydralazine, Labetalol, Mannitol, Diazepam,) can lower a woman’s risk of developing eclampsia.

The trend of pre-eclampsia continues to rise and yet the mechanism not fully understood and there is no probably any single explanation. Genetics, nutrition, certain underlying disease, the way your immune system react to pregnancy, and other factors may all play a role. Pre-eclampsia causes the blood vessels to constrict, resulting in high blood pressure and reduced blood flow that can affect organs in the body, including the liver, kidney and brain.

 These changes can cause small blood vessels to leak fluid into tissues, resulting in swelling (edema) as a result tiny blood vessel in the kidneys leak, proteins from the blood streams spills into urine. It is normal to have a small amount of protein in your urine, but more than a little bit can signal a problem (Adekunle et al., 2001).

When less blood flows to the uterus, it can cause problems for a baby, such as poor growth, too little amniotic fluid and placental abruption (when the placenta separates from the uterine wall before delivery). In addition, a baby may suffer the effects of prematurity if early delivery is needed to protect the mother’s health and prevent still birth. (Dolea et al., 2003).

Statement of the Problem

Due to the adoption of western life style and cultural habits in our community, Pre-eclampsia has shown an increased trend over the years and has been incremented with related hypertension and still birth. This ill health condition turns to be a leading cause of maternal/infant mortality and morbidity both to the family and wider community as such a major public health concern. This study therefore seeks to identify incriminating factors for pre-eclampsia and how further occurrence might be prevented and managed.

General Research Objective

The main objective of the study is to assess the effect of pre-eclampsia on pregnancy at the Regional Hospital, Buea.

Specific Research Objectives

  1. To assess the knowledge of pregnant women on the effects of pre-eclampsia at the Regional Hospital, Buea.

  2. To determine the effects of pre-eclampsia with respect to gravidity on pregnant women at the Regional Hospital, Buea. 

  3. To determine the effects of pre-eclampsia on new born at the Regional Hospital Buea.

Research Questions

  1. How knowledgeable are pregnant women on the effects of pre-eclampsia at the Regional Hospital, Buea? 
  2. How do you evaluate the effect of pre-eclampsia with respect to gravidity on pregnant women at the Regional Hospital, Buea?
  3. What are the effects of pre-eclampsia on new born at the Regional Hospital, Buea?


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