Malaria in pregnancy
Each year, approximately 50 million women living in malaria-endemic countries throughout the world become pregnant, of whom over half live in tropical areas of Africa with intense transmission of Plasmodium falciparum. An estimated 10 000 of these women and 200 000 of their infants die as a result of malaria infection during pregnancy, and severe malarial anaemia contributes to more than half of these deaths.
Malaria in pregnancy increases the risk of:
- maternal anaemia
- spontaneous abortion
- low birth weight
- neonatal death
WHO recommends a package of interventions for the prevention and control of malaria during pregnancy.
- The use of insecticide treated nets (ITNs) to prevent infection;
- Intermittent Preventive Treatment (IPT) to prevent asymptomatic infections among pregnant women living in areas of moderate or high transmission of P. falciparum;
- Effective case management for malaria illness and anaemia.