Jinja: The Rotaract Club of Jinja received valuable education on pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH) during their weekly fellowship at Crested Crane Hotel. The theme of the gathering was “Maternal and Child Health,” where the causes, effects, risks, and possible solutions of PIH were extensively discussed.
Pregnancy-induced hypertension, also known as gestational hypertension, refers to the development of new hypertension in a pregnant woman after 20 weeks of gestation without the presence of protein in the urine or other signs of pre-eclampsia. Studies have shown that PIH is associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality, leading to preterm delivery, low birth weight, stillbirth, and early neonatal death.
Ms. Esther Nabyonga, the Eastern Region Public Image Chair of Rotaracts, presided over the fellowship and emphasized the importance of recognizing potential signs of PIH. While there are no specific symptoms for PIH, pregnant women may experience headaches, high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, and leg swelling, which can sometimes be mistaken for normal pregnancy discomforts.
To ensure proper diagnosis, Nabyonga encouraged pregnant women to seek medical attention promptly, especially when feeling unwell. She cautioned against self-medication with local drugs, which can be dangerous as individuals may not be aware of potential risks and precautions.
“If you feel that something is not normal during your pregnancy, it is essential to visit a medical professional for a check-up since PIH often presents with no specific signs or symptoms,” Nabyonga stressed, highlighting the significance of regular antenatal care.
For pregnant women diagnosed with PIH, the prescribed treatment often involves medication to control blood pressure and ensure proper fetal development for at least 34 weeks of gestation. Nabyonga also called upon men to support not only their wives with PIH but any pregnant woman by accompanying them to health facilities for antenatal check-ups.
Aaron Kusasira, a Jinja Rotaract member, shared his newfound knowledge, emphasizing the importance of the ideal age for women to give birth, between 25 to 30 years. He also urged men to actively participate in their wives’ pregnancies, advocating for couples to attend antenatal appointments together.
According to Bovine Omondi, the Assistant Jinja Rotaract Representative, the youth club was chartered in 1989, dedicated to serving humanity through various charitable activities. With sponsorship from the Rotary Club of Jinja, the Rotaracts have embarked on several impactful projects, including constructing latrines for the visually impaired community in Mayuge district and installing solar panels in their houses in 2019.
Despite challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected their sanitary pad project for school-going girls, the Rotaracts persisted in their efforts, constructing a waiting shade at Bugembe Health Center IV, and donating 70 desks and water tanks to St. Joseph Primary School in Luuka district.
Through their dedication to community service and the valuable insights gained from the fellowship on PIH, the Rotaract Club of Jinja continues to make a positive impact on maternal and child health, demonstrating the power of collective action and commitment to humanitarian causes.