Malaria In Pregnancy

Pregnancy is an exciting phase for most women.  Antenatal care offers an excellent opportunity to prevent and manage existing and potential causes of maternal and neonatal diseases and premature deaths.

It’s currently recommended for a pregnant woman to visit the facility for at least 8 antenatal care visits with the first occurring within the first trimester

Why It Is Important For a Pregnant Mother To Attend the 8 Antenatal Clinics

  • To reduce maternal deaths associated with pregnancy and childbirth
  • To improve safety for all pregnant women throughout their pregnancy
  • By attending all the visits, a pregnant mother is likely to experience a positive pregnancy experience
  • There will be better nutritional interventions for the pregnant woman
  • Prevention of pregnancy-related complications so that both mother and baby will be healthy

Preventive Measures During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, a pregnant woman may be given the following to prevent various pregnancy-related concerns

IFAS: Iron and Folic Acid Supplementation (IFAS) is recommended by World Health Organization as part of antenatal care to prevent anaemia in pregnancy. One tablet is given daily for at least 6 months. Ensure you take the IFAS supplementation so as to prevent the risk of getting anaemia in pregnancy.

Vitamin A: This one is not always given to all mothers unless the healthcare professional notices a deficiency. When there is a need to give vitamin A, a pregnant woman will receive a daily or weekly dose, usually to prevent a condition known as night blindness.

Tetanus Diphtheria (TD) vaccination: If a pregnant woman has not previously been vaccinated or the vaccination status is not known, she will receive two doses of the TD vaccine one month apart, with the second dose given at least two weeks before delivery. These two doses will protect against Tetanus Diphtheria for 1-3 years.

  • 1. A third dose is also recommended six months after the second dose. This now protects the woman against TD for at least 5 years.
  • 2. Two further doses for women who have received the three doses are also given in the two subsequent years or during two subsequent pregnancies.
  • 3. A total of 5 TD doses will be given in total. The five doses will offer protection throughout the childbearing age for the woman.

    Tetanus Toxoid Injection Time Given
    1st Injection First visit during pregnancy
    2nd Injection 4 weeks after 1st dose but 2 weeks before delivery
    3rd Injection 6 months after 2nd dose
    4th Injection 1 year after the third dose or during a subsequent pregnancy
    5th Injection 1 year after the fourth dose or during a subsequent pregnancy.

IPTp: This is referred to as Intermittent preventive treatment with Sulfadoxine pyrimethamine (IPTp-SP), recommended for all pregnant women living in areas that have a high risk for Malaria.

  • 1. The dosing starts in the second trimester of pregnancy (13 weeks) and should be given at least one month apart.
  • 2. It is recommended to start the IPTP-SP from 13 weeks, monthly until delivery.
  • 3. For HIV-positive mothers who are on cotrimoxazole, IPTp-SP should not be taken.

Deworming: A single dose of Albendazole (400 mg) or a single dose of Mebendazole (500 mg) in the second trimester (4th - 6th month), is given to pregnant women If living in hookworm-infested areas.  All pregnant women should also maintain good sanitation and put on adequate foot wear.

Commonly asked questions