WHO has included intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp) with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine as an important malaria intervention since 2012.1 Although other candidate therapies remain under investigation and despite waning sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine antimalarial efficacy due to increasing parasite resistance, IPTp with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine remains a key component of the management of pregnant women in malaria-endemic areas. In areas of high-grade parasite resistance, the use of IPTp with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine is associated with improved birth weight, suggesting that there are benefits of beyond antimalarial efficacy.
Pregnant women are one of the most susceptible and vulnerable groups to malaria, the most important parasitic disease worldwide. Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) are recommended for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria in all population groups including pregnant women. However, due to the embryotoxicity observed in animal studies, ACTs have long been contraindicated during the first trimester in pregnant women.
Malaria in pregnancy, including asymptomatic infection, has a detrimental impact on foetal development. Individual patient data (IPD) meta-analysis was conducted to compare the association between antimalarial treatments and adverse pregnancy outcomes, including placental malaria, accompanied with the gestational age at diagnosis of uncomplicated falciparum malaria infection.
Our objective was to quantify the risk of acquiring malaria among progeny of women with malaria during pregnancy.
Many studies on malaria knowledge, attitude and practice among pregnant women have been conducted in Hausa speaking communities in Nigeria. Despite this, no standard and uniform instrument for assessing this important public health problem has been developed in the Hausa language, even though it is widely spoken. The aim of this study was to develop and validate a questionnaire in Hausa language assessing information, motivation, and behavioural skills for malaria prevention during pregnancy.
Drug safety assessments in clinical trials present unique analytical challenges. Some of these include adjusting for individual follow-up time, repeated measurements of multiple outcomes and missing data among others. Furthermore, pre-specifying appropriate analysis becomes difficult as some safety endpoints are unexpected. Although existing guidelines such as CONSORT encourage thorough reporting of adverse events (AEs) in clinical trials, they provide limited details for safety data analysis. The limited guidelines may influence suboptimal analysis by failing to account for some analysis challenges above. A typical example where such challenges exist are trials of anti-malarial drugs for malaria prevention during pregnancy. Lack of proper standardized evaluation of the safety of antimalarial drugs has limited the ability to draw conclusions about safety. Therefore, a systematic review was conducted to establish the current practice in statistical analysis for preventive antimalarial drug safety in pregnancy.
In the opening to WHO's World Malaria Report 2019, subtitled Leaving no one behind in the march to a malaria-free world, WHO's Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus noted that the scourge of malaria continues to strike hardest against pregnant women and children in Africa. The Director-General reported that “some 11 million pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa were infected with malaria and, consequently, nearly 900 000 children were born with a low birthweight”. Furthermore, he noted that “Malaria in pregnancy compromises the mother's health and puts her at greater risk of death. It impacts the health of the fetus, leading to prematurity and low birthweight, major contributors to neonatal and infant mortality.”
Growing concerns about the waning efficacy of IPTp-SP warrants continuous monitoring and evaluation. This study determined coverage of IPTp-SP and compared the effectiveness of the 3-dose to 2-dose regimen on placental malaria (PM) infection and low birth weight (LBW) in the Mount Cameroon area.
Artemether-lumefantrine antimalarial efficacy in pregnancy could be compromised by reduced drug exposure. Population-based simulations suggested that therapeutic efficacy would be improved if the treatment duration was increased. We assessed the efficacy, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics of an extended 5-day regimen of artemether-lumefantrine compared to the standard 3-day treatment in 48 pregnant women and 48 nonpregnant women with uncomplicated falciparum malaria in an open-label, randomized clinical trial. Babies were assessed at birth and 1, 3, 6, and 12 months.
Control of malaria in pregnancy (MiP) remains a major challenge in Burkina Faso. Surveillance of the burden due to MiP based on routinely collected data at a fine-scale level, followed by an appropriate analysis and interpretation, may be crucial for evaluating and improving the effectiveness of existing control measures. We described the spatio-temporal dynamics of MiP at the community-level and assessed health program effects, mainly community-based health promotion, results-based financing, and intermittent-preventive-treatment with sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (IPTp-SP).