Complications arising from the ischaemic placental disorders (i.e., pre-eclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction [IUGR], and placental abruption) contribute to the high maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity rates, particularly stillbirth, observed in sub-Saharan Africa. These statistics may indicate that there are potentially preventable social and environmental factors that may contribute to these adverse events.
Tackling the Social Determinants of Health (SDHs) may be important in preventing adverse health events related to placental disorders. However, in order to develop specific interventions targeted to reduce placental disorders, it is essential to first identify the social, economic and physical determinants of maternal health, specifically those that play a role in placental function.
We conducted a scoping review to identify the current knowledge of interactions between the physical and social environment and the incidence of placental disease in Africa. We found that the study of the social and physical environment is key to understanding the risk of placental health outcomes in Africa, and that regional variations that have an impact in the social and physical environments are less studied. More research has been done on the relationship between placental health outcomes and the social environment than on the physical environment. Therefore, there is potential for the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) tools and methods to create geographical data to analyse interactions between placental health outcomes and the physical environment.
Dube Y, Nyapwere N, Magee L, Vidler M, Moore S, Barratt B, Craik R, von Dadelszen P, Makanga PT and The PRECISE Network. Interactions between the Physical and Social Environments with Adverse Pregnancy Events Related to Placental Disorders—A Scoping Review.