Protection of pregnant women against malaria remains inadequate
The Malaria in Pregnancy Consortium and The Wellcome Trust has funded a review of national control strategies which concluded methods to protect pregnant women from malaria are still underutilised in sub-Saharan Africa.
Researchers from the Malaria in Pregnancy Consortium examined specific strategies for malaria control in pregnant women from national malaria policies and calculated the number of protected pregnancies using the most recent national household cluster sample surveys. The study found that 45 of 47 countries in sub-Saharan Africa had a bednet policy for pregnant women and that estimated coverage was 17 per cent among the nearly 28 million pregnancies at risk of malaria in the 32 countries for which information was available.
Professor Feiko ter Kuile, leader of the Malaria in Pregnancy Consortium and co-author of the study, said: "Greater effort to fully understand the reasons why coverage is so low and to develop strategies to combat this is urgently needed to protect the tens of millions of pregnancies in sub-Saharan Africa threatened by malaria every year."