Malaria continues to take a great toll on our pregnant women and their babies. Effective interventions have been put in place to protect this highly vulnerable population over the past few years. It is hyper endemic in Ghana and among pregnant women, it accounts for17.6% of OPD attendance, 13.7% of addmissions and 3.4% of maternal deaths
(2). Plasmodium-falciparum malaria, which is the most common species in Ghana, runs a severe and turbulent course in pregnant women. The first and second pregnancies are usually the most affected. The prevalence of parasitaemia appears greatest in the second and third trimesters and susceptibility to clinical malaria may persist into the post partum period. However, a pregnant woman may show no signs of clinical malaria but have a high parasite density in the peripheral blood and in the placenta.
Malaria in pregnancy is a priority area in the Roll Back Malaria strategy. The control of the impact of malaria during pregnancy, therefore, depends on both preventing the infection and in clearing parasitaemia when the disease occurs. Therefore the objective of the malaria in pregnancy module of malaria prevention is to ensure safe and effective prevention of malaria during pregnancy and puerperium in order to reduce morbidity and mortality in all pregnant women and their babies.
Strategies for preventing malaria in pregnancy:
1. Intermittent Preventive Treatment during Pregnancy (IPTp)
2. Vector Management Strategies