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Executive Director Eleni Tsigas visited Ireland in early July as a guest of the Irish National Fetal and Neonatal Translational (INFANT) Research Centre based at Cork University Maternity Hospital. The visit coincided with Ireland's first national awareness day for preeclampsia, which received extensive support and media coverage (see link below).
While there, Tsigas met with government, research, clinical and industry parties to highlight the need for greater awareness about the condition in Ireland. She also met with preeclampsia survivors to discuss the formation of a patient advocacy group. Currently there is no representative body or organization in Ireland that acts as a voice for preeclampsia awareness, information, and support for preeclampsia survivors.
"I'm delighted to be working with the Irish government and industry, particularly the INFANT Research Centre and Metabolomic Diagnostics, to help raise symptom awareness and encourage more people, male and female, providers, and friends, to recognize this potentially fatal illness," said Tsigas.
Ireland's Minister of State for Research and Innovation Sean Sherlock, Eleni Tsigas, and Diarmuid Cahalane of Metabolomic Diagnostics visit baby Isabela, born at 32 weeks, in the neonatal ward of Dublin's Rotunda Hospital.
Awareness Key to Saving Lives
Metabolomic Diagnostics is an innovative biosciences company involved in the development of breakthrough technology that will provide predictive screening for preeclampsia in early pregnancy. The technology is the brainchild of Professor Louise Kenny, who, with Professor Geraldine Boylan, co-directs the INFANT Research Centre.
"Through our research, we have seen first-hand the deadly health consequences of preeclampsia," said Diarmuid Cahalane, Head of Regulatory Affairs for Metabolomic Diagnostics. "We are working on an early diagnostic test that has the potential to revolutionize prenatal care globally, however, in the interim period of this test being available, awareness is key to saving lives, and we are delighted to be working closely with the Preeclampsia Foundation and industry partners in this regard."
Ireland's first national awareness day for preeclampsia is a step in the right direction.
"Making people in Ireland aware of the warning signs of preeclampsia will save lives," said Tsigas at the launch of National Preeclampsia Awareness Day. "The Foundation's quest for heightened awareness of preeclampsia goes beyond our US borders and we welcome efforts to spread the word internationally."
Irish Media Spreads the Word
Extensive media coverage marked Ireland's first National Preeclampsia Awareness Day with broadcast, online, and print outlets spreading the word about preeclampsia and its warning signs. Click on this link for a representative article published online by The Journal.
11th Annual Texas Conference on Health Disparities
Ft. Worth, TX
June 9-10, 2016