Malaria in Pregnancy
Malaria infection during pregnancy is a major public health problem, with substantial risks for the mother, her fetus and the newborn. During pregnancy there is altered/suppressed immune response to malaria especially in primi- and secundi-gravidae and those that are HIV infected. The levels of immunity is determined by immunity status before pregnancy which in turn is determined by the levels of malaria transmission in the area. In low transmission areas all women are affected while in high transmission areas the adverse events occur especially in primi- and secundi-gravidae.
The MOH Policy and Strategies on Malaria in Pregnancy are;
- Intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy using Sulfadoxine-Pyrimethamine (IPTp-SP)
- Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs)
- Effective case management
- Education and communication
To prevent the irreversible, negative consequences of malaria during pregnancy, it is critical to encourage pregnant women to: sleep under LLINs and start IPTp-SP regimen as early as possible in the second trimester (WHO and partners recommend initiating malaria prevention efforts beginning at 13 weeks to achieve major benefits). The period between 13 and 20 weeks is critical because this is the time when the placenta is forming and the parasite densities are highest.
Prevention of malaria in pregnancy is under KMS objective 1: To protect 100% of people living in malaria risk areas through access to appropriate malaria preventive interventions by 2023.
Organization of Service Delivery
Malaria in Pregnancy is one of the interventions under malaria prevention unit. The subunit has one national officer who doubles as the program officer and the focal point. At the national level there is collaboration between Reproductive Health unit and DNMP in planning and coordination of the various activities. The Reproductive Health unit is the chair of the MIPCOE while DNMP is the secretariat. At the county level the Reproductive Health Coordinators works closely with the County Malaria Control Coordinators to ensure malaria control activities are implemented.