Malaria in pregnancy is a maternal and newborn health issue. Here is how we can advocate for pregnant women:
1. It is important to promote early and comprehensive antenatal care where eligible pregnant women can access ITNs and receive IPTp.
2. Engage communities to promote and support MiP prevention and care.
3. Improving IPTp coverage and achieving targets requires continued commitment from both malaria control (technical oversight) and RH programs (delivery).
4. Earmark specific funding for sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) procurement that will be used in IPTp and delivered through ANC channels in both the public and private sector to prevent drug stock-outs
5. Explore innovative opportunities in the community for IPTp delivery, both to extend ANC-based programs and to serve women where ANC services are under-developed and underutilized
6. Reduce, or eliminate wherever possible, ANC user-fees to overcome cost as a barrier to ANC services and the uptake of IPTp
Pregnancy reduces a woman’s immunity to malaria, making her more susceptible to malaria infection and increasing the risk of illness, severe anemia and death.
Adolescent girls are particularly vulnerable to malaria. In many sub-Saharan settings, adolescents are often parasitaemic and anaemic when they first become pregnant. Moreover, societal stigma results in pregnant adolescents being least likely to use antenatal care (ANC)i
Women combatting malaria are most visible on the frontlines. They make up 90% of the community health workers who have helped significantly drive down malaria cases and deaths—a major contribution to some 7 million lives saved and over one billion of malaria cases prevented since 2000
Solutions: Mainstreaming gender in malaria efforts.
To achieve universal health coverage, women’s primary health care needs, including addressing malaria in pregnancy, must be at the forefront of comprehensive country policies and strategies that reach all women at risk for malaria — no matter where they live.
Ensure access to free treatment for children under five and pregnant women including support to enhanced coverage of community case management
Promote early and comprehensive antenatal carewhere eligible pregnant women can access LLINs and receive IPTp. Measure and incentivize IPTp coverage at the facility level as a performance indicator.
Reduce, or eliminate wherever possible, antenatal care user-fees to overcome cost as a barrier to the uptake of IPTp and other antenatal care services
Include a policy framework and earmark specific funding for procurement of drugs, including from local sources, that will be used in IPTp and delivered through antenatal care in both the public and private sector to prevent drug stock-outs.
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