Provider Capacity to Detect, Treat, and Refer PE/E Patients

Researchers examine the knowledge and skills of providers to provide quality PE/E care


Photo: Karen Kasmauski, Maternal Child Survival Program.


Providers need specific knowledge and skills to manage pre-eclampsia and eclampsia (PE/E) appropriately. In hypertensive disorders during pregnancy, providers must know how to manage hypertension using the recommended antihypertensives at the right time. They must also know how to administer anticonvulsants, such as magnesium sulfate (MgSO4) and calcium gluconate, if toxicity occurs.

During antenatal visits in study sites in seven Nigerian states, researchers assessed health providers’ knowledge, practice, skills, and experiences in preventing, detecting, and managing PE/E. They also looked at providers’ understanding of risk factors, detection procedures, and symptoms of PE/E, as well as lifesaving commodities at health facilities.

Capacity for detecting and managing PE/E is low, for the following reasons:

  • Awareness of prophylactic drugs, such as aspirin or calcium supplements, among health providers to prevent pre-eclampsia is low, at 19 percent;
  • Knowledge of symptoms of PE/E varies among states, but very few providers can identify signs of severe pre-eclampsia;
  • Only 12 percent of providers know the correct loading dose of MgSO4, and less than half of facilities use MgSO4 as an anticonvulsant; and
  • Many facilities do not have equipment, such as dipsticks to test for proteinuria, urine-collection containers, and stethoscopes, in stock.
  • Country: Pakistan