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Free Content Use of antenatal care services and intermittent preventive treatment for malaria among pregnant women in Blantyre District, Malawi

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Malaria in pregnancy contributes to low birth weight and increased infant mortality. As part of WHO's Roll Back Malaria initiative, African heads of state pledged that by 2005, 60% of pregnant women will receive malaria chemoprophylaxis or intermittent preventive treatment (IPT). We performed a cluster sample survey to study the use of sulfadoxine–pyrimethamine (SP) for IPT among recently pregnant women in February 2000 in Blantyre District, Malawi. Among 391 women in the sample, 98.6% had attended antenatal clinic at least once and 90.2% knew that SP/IPT was recommended during pregnancy. Overall, only 36.8% received the full recommended two-dose regimen of SP/IPT. Using data from 187 women with antenatal clinic cards, we found that residence location, housing type and gender/age/education of the head of household were not associated with failure to receive SP/IPT. Adjusting for education, multigravid women were more likely not to receive the recommended SP/IPT regimen (RR 1.2, 95% CI 1.02–1.5, P = 0.03). A substantial effort to improve the delivery and use of SP/IPT in Malawi will be necessary, but the Roll Back Malaria 2005 goal appears achievable.

Keywords: Africa; antenatal care; intermittent preventive treatment; malaria; pregnancy

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1:  Malaria Epidemiology Branch, Division of Parasitic Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and  Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA 2:  Division of Parasitic Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA 3:  Blantyre District Health Office, Blantyre, Malawi 4:  Blantyre Integrated Malaria Initiative, Blantyre, Malawi 5:  Ministry of Health and Population, Lilongwe, Malawi

Publication date: 2004-01-01

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