Control of Malaria in pregnancy

Malaria infection during pregnancy is a major public health problem in Lagos State. The main burden of infection results from Plasmodium falciparum like in any adult in Nigeria.

In areas of stable malaria transmission like Lagos State, most adult women have developed sufficient immunity that, even during pregnancy, P.falciparum infection does not usually result in fever or other clinical symptoms. Thus, the principal impact of malaria infection is malaria related anemia in the mother and the presence of parasites in the placenta. The resulting impairment of foetal nutrition contributes to low birth weight and is a leading cause of poorer infants’ survival and development.

The World Health Organization recommends that pregnant women in Malaria endemic areas should receive should receive two doses of Sulphadoxine -Pyrimethamine given at therapeutic doses at scheduled interval during the index pregnancy.

Studies in countries like Kenya and Malawi have shown that IPT with at least two treatment doses of SP is highly effective in reducing the proportion of women with anaemia and placenta malaria infection at delivery.

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