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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2006 Aug;75(2):205-11.

Malaria prevention during pregnancy: assessing the disease burden one year after implementing a program of intermittent preventive treatment in Koupela District, Burkina Faso.

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  • 1Centre National de Recherche et de Formation sur le Paludisme, Ministère de la Santé, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.


The World Health Organization recommends that pregnant women in malaria-endemic areas receive >or= 2 doses of intermittent preventive treatment with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (IPTp/SP) in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy to prevent maternal anemia, placental parasitemia, and low birth weight (LBW). In 2001, a program evaluation in Koupéla District, Burkina Faso demonstrated that despite widespread use of chloroquine chemoprophylaxis, the burden of malaria during pregnancy remained high. In 2003, the Burkina Faso Ministry of Health piloted a program of IPTp/SP (three doses) and accelerated distribution of insecticide-treated nets (ITN) to pregnant women in Koupéla District. In 2004, a follow-up program evaluation was conducted. Coverage with >or= 1 doses of IPTp/SP was high among women attending antenatal clinics (ANCs) (96.2%) and delivery units (DUs) (93.5%); ITN ownership was moderately high (ANC = 53.9%, DU = 61.6%). In multivariate analysis, >or= 1 dose of IPTp/SP was associated with a significant reduction in the prevalence of peripheral parasitemia at ANCs (risk ratio [RR] = 0.49, P = 0.008), >or= 2 doses of IPTp/SP were associated with a reduction in the prevalence of placental parasitemia (RR = 0.56, P = 0.02), and three doses of IPTp/SP were associated with a reduced risk of LBW (RR = 0.51, P = 0.04). The proportions of women at ANCs with peripheral parasitemia and anemia were significantly lower in 2004 than in 2001 (RR = 0.53, P = 0.001 and RR = 0.78, P = 0.003, respectively). The proportions of women at DUs with peripheral and placental parasitemia were also significantly lower in 2004 than in 2001 (RR = 0.66, P < 0.0001 and RR = 0.71, P = 0.0002, respectively). These data suggest that a package of IPTp/SP and ITNs is effective in reducing the burden of malaria during pregnancy in Burkina Faso.

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