Preventing malaria before the baby is born
In the push to end malaria for good, SHOPS Plus steps up preventive efforts by training private providers on protocols for pregnant women.
Malaria infection in pregnant women can cause serious effects in both mother and child. In areas of high malaria transmission, it is assumed that every pregnant woman has malaria parasites in her blood or placenta, whether she is symptomatic or not. A few years ago, WHO called for a new therapy to be administered to pregnant women starting after the first trimester. The new therapy, known as intermittent preventive treatment, reduces low birth weight, anemia, and miscarriages.
At the end of 2016, 38 private doctors and nurses completed a SHOPS Plus training in maternal and child health that included this protocol. The training was carried out in Benue and Kebbi.
According to Dr. Kohol of Hemko Hospital in Makurdi (pictured above), a main benefit of the training was the “constant reminder on the need for intermittent preventive therapy of malaria in pregnancy.”
Abigail Ayorinde (pictured here) was another provider who greatly valued the training. She is a nurse at Mayor Foundation Clinic Birnin-Kebbi. She went on to train three of her colleagues in the prevention of malaria protocol.
Integrating the malaria prevention with maternal and child health updates reduces one of the key barriers to widespread adoption of this critical intervention.