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County Government Turns To Smartwatches To Curb Maternal Deaths

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expectant mother-kenya-smartwatches
Image courtesy The Elephant

Nakuru County Government has reportedly kickstarted a project that will involve the introduction of smartwatches used to monitor blood pressure in expectant women. This new project was started in collaboration with Kabarak University to bring in this tech that is expected to help reduce the number of maternal deaths in the county.

Other than blood pressure monitoring, the smartwatches will also be used by health officials to identify hypertensive disorders during pregnancies. According to Nakuru county government, this collaboration is meant to generally reduce cases of women dying from pre-eclampsia and eclampsia. These two conditions have proven to be among the highest causes of death and complications at delivery.

Pre-eclampsia is a disorder characterised by high blood pressure and a protein in the urine causing seizures and loss of consciousness and often leads to eclampsia that causes excessive bleeding and other complications and even death in extreme cases.

The project was initiated after a research carried out by Kabarak University located in the county. Through the study, the institution was able to identify various levels of health facilities reporting a high prevalence of pre-eclampsia and eclampsia.

Now, this new tech will help these facilities execute interventions in the communities throughout the county and hopefully address the causes of maternal deaths.

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“Expectant mothers will be able to monitor their blood pressure throughout the day and give timely reports in case of any abnormality,” said one of the researchers at Kabarak University, Moses Thiga.

Partners Liaison officer, Dr Tomoro Kochei spoke during the project launch saying that the university will initially offer smartwatches to at least 150 expectant women for the first phase of implementation. This will target level 3 and 4 facilities.

The project can also be seen as a positive response by a county that was once ranked among the top in the country with a high maternal death burden back in 2014.

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