Jenny Hill from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine is program manager for a research partnership called the Malaria and Pregnancy Consortium. Ms. Hill says a review of 98 studies found a number of barriers to malaria prevention. These include unclear policy and guidance from government ministers and health care officials. Other problems include drug shortages, a lack of clean water, and confusion about how to administer IPT.
Ms. Hill says free intermittent preventive treatment is the policy in 37 countries across the region. But the researchers found that antenatal clinics, or ANCs, may charge fees that can keep some pregnant women from returning.
Ms. Hill says countries can reduce the number of deaths and early births due to malaria by following the WHO policy on intermittent preventive treatment. She says governments should also provide more money in their budgets for anti-malaria drugs so there are no shortages. Also, they should publicize the importance of malaria prevention among women at highest risk for the disease.
The journal PLoS Medicine published the analysis of maternal and infant malaria prevention measures.