Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease. Interventions to prevent malaria include:
Vector control: sleeping under insecticide-treated nets (ITNs), indoor residual spraying (IRS), and, in some specific settings, larval control
Intermittent preventive treatment for pregnant women and infants and seasonal chemoprophylaxis for children 1-5 years of age
Diagnosis and treatment of malaria
Specific Prevention and Treatment Measures for Pregnant Women and Children
All the interventions above should be part of the integrated package. We provide more information interventions for pregnant and lactating women and young children.
Prevention of Malaria using ITNs
Pregnant women and children younger than two years of age should sleep under ITNs to prevent infection by malaria. The coverage of ITNs in these groups has increased dramatically in some African countries. Eighty-nine countries have a policy to provide ITNs free of charge (UNICEF). In 2012, 41% of children younger than five slept under a bednet in Africa. More information on the coverage of ITNs and other anemia-related programs is coming soon here.
Malaria Prevention in Pregnancy (MiP)
In areas of moderate-to-high malaria transmission in sub-Saharan Africa, intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp) with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) is recommended for all pregnant women at each scheduled antenatal care visit. The first dose should be given as early in the second trimester as possible and at each antenatal care visit thereafter, with spacing of doses one month apart. It is safe to give the last dose after the 36th month of pregnancy. Because large doses of folic acid (5 mg or greater) interfere with IPTp-SP, the World Health Organization recommends that women receive less than a 5 mg dose of folic acid during pregnancy. Click here for more information on Malaria Prevention and Treatment Regimens.
Currently, coverage is still low for MiP. Click here for a compilation of anemia prevalence and anemia control-related indicators including IPTp from Demographic and Health Surveys.
The most recent policy brief from WHO can be viewed by clicking here.
Malaria Prevention in Infants
Where malaria prevalence is moderate to high, intermittent preventive treatment in infants (IPTi) using sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP-IPTi) also is recommended for infants (WHO, 2010). IPTi should be administered with the second and third diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus (DPT) and measles vaccinations of infants (usually at 10 weeks, 14 weeks and 9 months of age) through Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI). Click here for more information click on immunization schedules.
The use of SP as the drug of choice is dependent on parasite resistance and each country should monitor drug resistance SP-IPTi should not be given to infants receiving a sulfa-based medication including co-trimoxazole which is widely used as prophylaxis against opportunistic infections in HIV-infected infants.
Seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) with amodiaquine plus sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (AQ+SP) for children aged 3–59 months is recommended in areas of highly seasonal malaria transmission across the Sahel sub-region in Africa.
For more information on Malaria Prevention and Treatment Regimens, click here.
The most recent recommendations from WHO can be viewed by clicking here.
Malaria Treatment and Case Management in Women and Children
Regimens for treatment differ by country. For pregnant women, regimens differ by first and second-third trimesters and the first and second line treatments. Many countries use quinine plus clindamycin in the first trimester when the risk of severe anemia and hypoglycemia are lower and concerns are higher about using artemisinin-based therapies (ACT). Click here for more information on the types of treatment regimens (but not the actual doses) for pregnant and lactating women and children.