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Free Content A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of intermittent preventive treatment with sulphadoxine–pyrimethamine in Gambian multigravidae

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We investigated the ability of intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp) with sulphadoxine/pyrimethamine to prevent anaemia and low birthweight in Gambian multigravidae. Between July 2002 and February 2004, 2688 multigravidae living in a rural area of The Gambia received SP (1346 women) or placebo (1342 women) up to four times during pregnancy and were followed until 6-weeks post-partum. Shortly after delivery, 10.7% of women in the intervention group and 8.8% in the control group were severely anaemic [Hb < 7 g/dl, risk difference = 0.02 (95% CI −0.01, 0.04), P = 0.17]. The overall mean birthweight of infants born to women who had received SP (3103 g) was very similar to that observed in infants born to women in the control group [3075 g; difference = 28 g (95% CI −11 g, 67 g), P = 0.16]. However, among women who did not use a bednet (either insecticide treated or untreated), infants born to women who had received SP weighed more than infants born to women in the control group [3147 g vs. 3044 g; difference 143 g (95% CI 53 g, 232 g), interaction test P < 0.001]. This study did not show that IPTp with SP benefited Gambian multigravidae overall but that it may benefit a sub-group of women who do not use a bednet. In areas such as The Gambia, provision of insecticide-treated bednets to multigravidae may provide an adequate means of protection against malaria in pregnancy without the need for additional IPTp.
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Keywords: The Gambia; anaemia; birthweight; intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy; malaria; multigravidae

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1:  Medical Research Council Laboratories, Fajara, The Gambia 2:  Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK 3:  Department of Health, Government of The Gambia, Banjul, The Gambia

Publication date: 2006-07-01

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