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Professor Andrew ShennanProfessor Andrew Shennan

Professor of Obstetrics

Preventing mothers dying during childbirth

‘Around 99% of the deaths from pre-eclampsia occur in rural Africa. We are struggling to get simple technology around the world which is going to make a difference. As such, we have come up with something that anyone can use.’

In developing countries, there is a huge lack of blood pressure monitoring equipment, which can help to diagnose the potentially fatal pregnancy complication, pre-eclampsia.

Professor Shennan and his team have developed a new blood pressure and heart rate monitoring device which will save the lives of mothers and babies around the world.

This £12 device could save 70,000 lives a year in developing countries.

Currently being trialled across Tanzania, South Africa and Zambia, it is portable, can be used by an untrained person, has low power needs and can be charged easily – making it ideal for use in rural environments.

Professor Andrew Shennan

Next steps in Professor Shennan’s research

Professor Shennan has also developed a blood test which can diagnose pre-eclampsia in just 15 minutes and with a much greater level of accuracy than previous methods.

The IndependentThe test has proved to be incredibly successful in Professor Shennan’s clinic and trials will begin in six UK hospitals in the next few months.

‘Pre-eclampsia affects 10 million women around the world each year. In the UK alone, around 1,000 babies die as a result of it every year. With an accurate test, some of these babies could have been saved.’

>> Read more about Professor Shennan’s new device in The Independent

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