The next problem is the most complicated to teach. It is important to understand if high blood pressure is present in a patient it indicates pre-eclampsia. This can lead to eclampsia which means seizures and possible death. But how does a woman who cannot read numbers learn to take blood pressure? When Dr. Skankey met with Dr. Zeidou of HDI, in the south who runs this kind of training program in 500 southern communities he was very skeptical about the ability of the women to understand and use this important tool. Dr. Bob decided to try anyway. They have shown how smart they are already and how well they retain information. There is nothing to lose by trying. So we marked the dials with red nail polish to show high or low levels. By listening to when the pulsing starts and ends and noting the red lines, even without reading the numbers they could at least tell if there was any danger from a reading above the red line at 140 on the high side and below the red line at 90 on the low. They were issued their own blood pressure cuffs and practiced for two days, taking everybody’s blood pressure many times. They seem to understand it. They know that if the patients levels are above the red line to contact Ali as a dangerous condition could exist. We will see if this tool will be able to save some more lives.
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