Each year approximately 50 million women living in malaria endemic areas become pregnant and are at risk of the adverse health impact of malaria. Approximately half of them live in sub-Saharan Africa and most of them in areas of intense falciparum transmission. The increased susceptibility to malaria of pregnant women has long been recognized. Although some progress has been accomplished in recent years, resulting in the identification of intermittent preventive treatment (IPTp) and insecticide treated nets (ITNs) as key strategies to control malaria in pregnancy in Africa, much work needs to be done to control malaria effectively in this high at risk group. There are still many gaps in knowledge that need to be addressed: from the biological mechanism (s) that explains the increased susceptibility during pregnancy, the most effective control measures in different transmission areas and the best drugs for case management.
Keywords: Pregnancy, falciparum, intermittent preventive treatment, low birth weight, placenta
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