Members the CRIBS team visited Bengaluru in India during September for the annual International Society for the Study of Hypertension in Pregnancy (ISSHP) World Congress. The action-packed programme included plenary sessions on artificial intelligence and its potential for use in maternity care; screening and prevention of pre-eclampsia; and long-term implications or pre-eclampsia and its impact on the cardiovascular system. There were many fascinating thematic talks, panel discussions and practical sessions. We were delighted that a number of our team were invited to present their recent work on behalf of the CRIBS team.
Presentations by CRIBS team:
The CRIBS Policy Labs in both Sierra Leone and Zambia were presented to the delegation and received great interest from teams around the world who were fascinated to hear about the use of this novel tool. Dr Chileshe Mabula-Bwalya presented ‘Policy Lab as an engagement tool for improving pre-eclampsia management in a high-burden setting’ and Dr Katy Kuhrt presented ‘Disseminating key messages from a Policy Lab in Sierra Leone: A National Pre-eclampsia awareness campaign.’ Dr Kuhrt also displayed an e-poster entitled ‘A Policy Lab to accelerate translation of novel research into policy to improve timely detection and appropriate action in care of women with pre-eclampsia in Sierra Leone.’
The CRADLE-5 feasibility study was presented by Dr Candace Beoku-Betts in a talk entitled ‘National Scale-up of the CRADLE Intervention to Improve Maternal and Fetal Outcomes.’ The audience were very interested to hear about the CRADLE-5 work ongoing in Sierra Leone and are looking forward to hearing the results from the main trial when they are available. There was great enthusiasm for the CRADLE vital signs alert device among the delegates, many of whom were keen for a nationwide roll-out of the device in their respective countries.
Dr Alex Ridout’s presentation ‘Increased incidence of Eclampsia in Adolescents in low- and middle- income settings’ discussed our finding from the CRADLE dataset that adolescents experience higher rates of pre-eclampsia than other women and highlighted the need for further work to protect this vulnerable population from the adverse outcomes of the disease.
Dr Alice Hurrell discussed her findings from the PARROT-2 trial in a presentation entitled ‘Repeat placental growth factor-based testing in women with suspected preterm pre-eclampsia, a multi-centre randomized controlled trial.’ This generated considerable interest and discussion among the delegation as the evidence surrounding the benefit of repeat PlGF-based testing has been lacking until now. We are delighted that Dr Hurrell was awarded ‘Best Paper’ of the conference for this extremely important work.
Awards for CRIBS presenters
The hard-work and enthusiasm of the team was further recognised by the judging panel who granted ‘Young Investigator’ awards to Dr Hurrell, Dr Kuhrt and Dr Beoku-Betts, and a ‘Zuspan Award’ for outstanding clinical work to Dr Mabula-Bwalya, who were selected from more than 160 other researchers eligible for these prizes.
Revvity attended the conference, demonstrating their point-of-care placental growth factor (PlGF) test that is currently being evaluated as part of the PINEAPPLE studies by the CRIBS team in Sierra Leone and Zambia. There was a lot of interest surrounding the point of care test and the opportunities it could provide for pre-eclampsia diagnosis. Many teams were keen to hear our experience of using it, and requests have been made for the training materials developed by Sierra Leonean researchers to be shared with clinicians across the world, from the UK to Australia.
The delegation was treated to excellent hospitality from their hosts and thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment and cultural activities on offer throughout the meeting including delicious South Indian dishes, beautiful henna artistry, and outstanding musical and dance performance from the Indian faculty.
Story and photos: Dr Louisa Samuels