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Coverage of malaria protection in pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa: a synthesis and analysis of national survey data
Authors: Anna Maria van Eijk, Jenny Hill, Victor A Alegana, Viola Kirui, Peter W Gething, Feiko O ter Kuile, Robert W Snow
Source: Lancet Infectious Diseases, Early Online Publication, 26 January 2011; doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(10)70295-4
Topic(s): Malaria
Maternal health
Country: Africa
   Multiple African Countries
Published: JAN 2011
Abstract: Background Insecticide-treated nets and intermittent preventive treatment with sulfadoxine—pyrimethamine are recommended for the control of malaria during pregnancy in endemic areas in Africa, but there has been no analysis of coverage data at a subnational level. We aimed to synthesise data from national surveys about these interventions, accounting for disparities in malaria risk within national borders. Methods We extracted data for specific strategies for malaria control in pregnant women from national malaria policies from endemic countries in Africa. We identified the most recent national household cluster-sample surveys recording intermittent preventive treatment with sulfadoxine—pyrimethamine and use of insecticide-treated nets. We reconciled data to subnational administrative units to construct a model to estimate the number of pregnant women covered by a recommended intervention in 2007. Findings 45 (96%) of 47 countries surveyed had a policy for distribution of insecticide-treated nets for pregnant women; estimated coverage in 2007 was 4•7 million (17%) of 27•7 million pregnancies at risk of malaria in 32 countries with data. 39 (83%) of 47 countries surveyed had an intermittent preventive treatment policy; in 2007, an estimated 6•4 million (25%) of 25•6 million pregnant women received at least one dose of treatment and 19•8 million (77%) visited an antenatal clinic (31 countries). Estimated coverage was lowest in areas of high-intensity transmission of malaria. Interpretation Despite success in a few countries, coverage of insecticide-treated nets and intermittent preventive treatment in pregnant African women is inadequate; increased efforts towards scale-up are needed. Funding The Malaria in Pregnancy Consortium and Wellcome Trust.