BACKGROUND: Malaria in pregnancy leads to serious adverse effects on the mother and the child and accounts for 75,000-200,000 infant deaths every year. Currently, the World Health Organization recommends intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in pregnancy (IPTp) with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) at each scheduled antenatal care (ANC) visit. This study aimed to assess IPTp-SP coverage in mothers delivering in health facilities and at the community. In addition, factors associated with low IPTp-SP uptake and malaria adverse outcomes in pregnancy were investigated.
METHODS: A community and a health facility-based surveys were conducted in mothers delivering in Chókwè district, southern Mozambique. Social-demographic data, malaria prevention practices and obstetric history were recorded through self-report and antenatal records. For women delivering at health facilities, a clinical examination of mother and child was performed, and malaria infection at delivery was determined by rapid diagnostic test, microscopy, quantitative PCR and placental histology.
RESULTS: Of 1141 participants, 46.6, 30.2, 13.5 and 9.6% reported taking ≥ 3, two, one and none SP doses, respectively. Low IPTp uptake (< 3 doses) was associated with non-institutional deliveries (AOR = 2.9, P < 0.001), first ANC visit after week 28 (AOR = 5.4, P < 0.001), low awareness of IPTp-SP (AOR = 1.6, P < 0.002) and having no or only primary education (AOR = 1.3, P = 0.041). The overall prevalence of maternal malaria (peripheral and/or placental) was 16.8% and was higher among women from rural areas compared to those from urban areas (AOR = 1.9, P < 0.001). Younger age (< 20 years; AOR = 1.6, P = 0.042) and living in rural areas (AOR = 1.9, P < 0.001) were predictors of maternal malaria at delivery. Being primigravidae (AOR = 2.2, P = 0.023) and preterm delivery (AOR = 2.6, P < 0.001) predicted low birth weight while younger age was also associated with premature delivery (AOR = 1.4, P = 0.031).
CONCLUSION: The coverage for two and ≥ 3 doses of IPTp-SP is moderately higher than estimates from routine health facility records in Gaza province in 2015. However, this is still far below the national target of 80% for ≥ 3 doses. Ongoing campaigns aiming to increase the use of malaria prevention strategies during pregnancy should particularly target rural populations, increasing IPTp-SP knowledge, stimulate early visits to ANC, improve access to health services and the quality of the service provided.
- Journal Article