Maternal Health Task Force

MHTF Blog

Malaria in Pregnancy: Bringing the Maternal Health and Malaria Communities Together

This post is the first in a blog series on Malaria in Pregnancy. To view the entire series, click here.

According to a recent report from researchers at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) published in the Lancet, the number of deaths from malaria has fallen rapidly in recent years.

Similarly, recent reports from the World Health Organization as well as IHME show dramatic reductions in maternal mortality.

Despite this encouraging progress, coverage of malaria control efforts among pregnant women remains low. Malaria in pregnancy (MiP) continues to be a substantial contributor to maternal mortality and morbidity in malaria-endemic regions. MiP also causes low birth weight babies, as well as other adverse birth outcomes.

The Maternal Health Task Force is working to foster dialogue among maternal health and malaria professionals. Our goal is to better understand the burden of malaria in pregnancy, the reasons for limited malaria control for pregnant women, and the success stories relating to MiP.

Over the next several weeks, the MHTF will share a series of guest blog posts from our colleagues who are working in maternal health, malaria, and/or the intersection of the two issues.

The posts will cover such topics as:

  • Description and analysis of persistent barriers to reaching pregnant women with malaria services
  • Knowledge gaps in p. vivax infection in pregnancy
  • Recommendations for more innovative approaches to address MiP
  • Identification of missed opportunities to increase coverage
  • Key insights into MiP programming
  • Country-specific lessons learned

In addition to the blog series, in partnership with colleagues at the Malaria in Pregnancy Consortium (including Liverpool School of Tropical MedicineLondon School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and PATH) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Maternal Health Task Force will convene a technical meeting later this month to bring together the maternal health and malaria communities. The meeting will focus on sharing lessons learned from countries and projects that have attempted to achieve high coverage of malaria control for pregnant women, identifying the main challenges to addressing MiP, exploring opportunities for collaboration and innovation, and determining next steps for the establishment of a strong collaboration between the malaria and maternal health communities.

Stay tuned to the MHTF for upcoming blog posts about MiP as well as daily summaries and a final report from the meeting. If you are interested in sharing your MiP experiences and expertise on the MHTF Blog, please contact Kate Mitchell at kmitchel@hsph.harvard.edu.

To view the blog series, click here.

Categories: Malaria in Pregnancy Series Maternal Health

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