Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Malar J. 2008 Sep 18;7:180. doi: 10.1186/1475-2875-7-180.

A community effectiveness trial of strategies promoting intermittent preventive treatment with sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine in pregnant women in rural Burkina Faso.

Author information

  • 1Epidemiology and Control of Parasitic Diseases Unit, Department of Parasitology, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium.



Intermittent preventive treatment with sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine for pregnant women (IPTp-SP) is currently being scaled up in many countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Despite high antenatal clinic (ANC) attendance, coverage with the required two doses of SP remains low. The study investigated whether a targeted community-based promotion campaign to increase ANC attendance and SP uptake could effectively improve pregnancy outcomes in the community.


Between 2004 and 2006 twelve health centres in Boromo Health District, Burkina Faso were involved in this study. Four were strategically assigned to community promotion in addition to IPTp-SP (Intervention A) and eight were randomly allocated to either IPTp-SP (Intervention B) or weekly chloroquine (Control). Primi- and secundigravidae were enrolled at village level and thick films and packed cell volume (PCV) taken at 32 weeks gestation and at delivery. Placental smears were prepared and newborns weighed. Primary outcomes were peripheral parasitaemia during pregnancy and at delivery, placental malaria, maternal anaemia, mean and low birth weight. Secondary outcomes were the proportion of women with > or = 3 ANC visits and > or = 2 doses of SP. Intervention groups were compared using logistic and linear regression with linearized variance estimations to correct for the cluster-randomized design.


SP uptake (> or = 2 doses) was higher with (Intervention A: 70%) than without promotion (Intervention B: 49%) (OR 2.45 95%CI 1.25-4.82 p = 0.014). Peripheral (33.3%) and placental (30.3%) parasite rates were significantly higher in the control arm compared to Intervention B (peripheral: 20.1% OR 0.50 95%CI 0.37-0.69 p = 0.001; placental: 20.5% OR 0.59 95%CI 0.44-0.78 p = 0.002) but did not differ between Intervention A (17.4%; 18.1%) and Intervention B (20.1; 20.5%) (peripheral: OR 0.84 95%CI 0.60-1.18 p = 0.280; placental: OR 0.86 95%CI 0.58-1.29 p = 0.430). Mean PCV and birth weight and prevalence of anaemia and low birth weight did not differ between study arms.


The promotional campaign resulted in a major increase in IPTp-coverage, with two thirds of women at delivery having received > or = 2 SP. Despite lower prevalence of malaria infection this did not translate into a significant difference in maternal anaemia or birth weight. This data provides evidence that, as with immunization programmes, extremely high coverage is essential for effectiveness. This critical threshold of coverage needs to be defined, possibly on a regional basis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center