Giunti Labs, the learning and mobile content management solution provider, is adding its expertise to that of specialists at the University of Oxford to help to reduce problems associated with pre-eclampsia in pregnant women – one of the leading causes of maternal death in the developing world.


Giunti Labs is helping the Nuffield Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology and the Oxford Maternal & Perinatal Health Institute (Green Templeton College) at the University of Oxford to develop educational material on maternal health for midwives, nurses and doctors in developing countries – notably in India, Mexico and Nigeria. The material focuses on pre-eclampsia – a pregnancy condition that is characterised by high blood pressure and protein in the urine.


If untreated, complications can develop such as seizures (eclampsia), strokes, kidney and liver damage and, ultimately, death. In fact, eclampsia and severe pre-eclampsia claim the lives of some 63,000 women each year around the world – as well as the lives of many of their babies.


Dr Stephen Kennedy, head of the Nuffield Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, is aiming for the Oxford Maternal & Perinatal Health Institute to offer a course in all aspects of maternal health to healthcare professionals globally. His efforts to pursue this have led to a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation via EngenderHealth, a New York-based charity, to develop e-learning materials relating to one important aspect of maternal health, namely pre-eclampsia and its effective treatment.


With the help of a small team of clinicians, led by Dr José Villar at the University of Oxford, Giunti Labs has developed a pilot that aims to deliver a self-paced e-learning module, consisting of five components of 30 minutes each. There is a basic version for healthcare professionals wishing to understand the fundamentals, as well as a more advanced version for those wishing to improve their knowledge of the management of pre-eclampsia and eclampsia, providing the evidence behind the recommendations.


The target audience for this module is midwives, nurses and doctors, working in local hospitals in India, Mexico and Nigeria. Giunti Labs has therefore developed versions in both English and Spanish.


Comment: Between 300,000 and 500,000 women die each year from problems related to pregnancy. Ninety-nine per cent of these deaths occur in developing countries and many of them are preventable. If e-learning materials can help prevent even some of these, then they are well worthwhile.