Using the Donor Toolkit to Treat Pre-Eclampsia/Eclampsia with Magnesium Sulfate

Posted on

By: Natalie Ramm, Communications Coordinator, Maternal Health Task Force, Women and Health Initiative

There are an estimated 50,000 deaths a year from eclampsia. In a recent presentation, “Promoting Improvements in Maternal Morality in Nigeria,” Judith Helzner of the MacArthur Foundation gives examples of how donors can leverage resources in their toolkit to address this problem.

The Magpie Trial

A multi-country trial study called “The Magpie Trial” found that magnesium sulfate is the gold standard treatment for eclampsia. With funding from MacArthur, The Population Council conducted a pilot study on the use of magnesium sulfate for eclampsia in Kano State, Nigeria and found a 65% decline in eclampsia deaths. Based on these results, the Kano State government scaled-up magnesium sulfate to all 26 of its hospitals.

The Population Council and the Kano Ministry of Health presented results to the National Council on Health and generated interest in other Nigerian states, as well as the Federal Ministry of Health.

National scale-up of Magnesium Sulfate

In order to “prime the pump,” MacArthur granted funding to the Federal Ministry of Health to purchase the drug and begin provider training on how to use magnesium sulfate in 12 states.

After having a huge impact on decreasing eclampsia related deaths, MacArthur continues to fund The Population Council’s efforts to share their success and promote prevention with early detection of pre-eclampsia.

If you’re interested more details on this particular case or in learning what all can be found in a donor’s toolkit, watch a video of the lecture below!