Getting ready to tackle high risk pregnancies

The George Institute for Global Health India, and the University of Oxford UK, jointly hosted two national stakeholder meetings, in New Delhi on 29th March 2019 and in Vijayawada on 1st April, to identify priorities and challenges to integrate screening and management of non-communicable diseases into maternal and child health services in India.

Women who develop high-risk conditions during pregnancy, such as gestational diabetes mellitus or preeclampsia, are at increased risk of type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease later in their life.

These are the leading causes of death and morbidity amongst Indian women. Pregnancy presents an opportunity to improve pregnancy outcomes as well as lifelong health for women. 

India has been very successful in reducing maternal mortality through a number of national-level programs. NCD screening and prevention is a national priority and is recommended for all adults over the age of 30.

The George Institute for Global Health’s SMARThealth program is a health system-strengthening tool for use in rural communities to improve detection and management of adults with NCDs.

Based on feedback from women, community health workers and physicians, this platform has been adapted to improve recognition, referral and management of high-risk pregnant women and strengthen postpartum and longer-term follow-up.

The two workshops brought together stakeholders from diverse sectors including: government, health, academia, NGOs, media and tech, to identify the key uncertainties and questions that need to be addressed in order to improve women’s lives and reduce pregnancy and longer-term complications in women that experience high-risk pregnancy.