Alleviating the Maternal Mortality Epidemic Caused by Preeclampsia Through CHW Based Interventions



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Maternal mortality rates in the US have been consistently rising and are currently higher than any other developed nation. Preeclampsia, a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy, affects about 18% of pregnancies worldwide [13], and 60% of preeclampsia deaths had a good to strong chance of being prevented [6]. A DAG (Directed Acyclic Graph) model was created to show causes and effects of preeclampsia and to see where in the pathway an intervention would be most effective. Stories were collected from women to get a perspective of the issue through the lens of those experiencing it. Based on the DAG model and the stories, a two pronged intervention was designed. One prong focused on health professionals while the other focused on the public. A simulated city modeled after Houston was created to see how many people were affected by the condition, how many deaths were expected, and how necessary the intervention was. On this basis, it was found that raising awareness and teaching the population how to be their own advocate, how to deal with medical professionals, and preventative measures they could be taking to prevent any complications was the best method to help decrease the number of preeclampsia-related deaths.