The WHO 2012 updated policy on IPTp as well as the RBM Global Call to Action to Increase National Coverage of IPTp of Malaria in Pregnancy for Immediate Impact underscore the importance of increasing intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp) and iron-folic acid (IFA) coverage to reduce maternal and child mortality. Both documents urge program implementers to give pregnant women a dose of folic acid less than 5 mg per day to ensure the effectiveness of IPTp in saving the lives of mothers and their infants. Two new advocacy documents promote acceleration of IPTp uptake and anemia prevention during pregnancy and using a lower dose of folic acid that will ensure a reduction of both malaria and anemia in pregnancy. These include:
- “Roll Back Malaria Partnership- Malaria in Pregnancy Working Group Consensus Statement on Folic Acid Supplementation During Pregnancy”
- “Controlling Maternal Anemia and Malaria: Ensuring Pregnant Women Receive Effective Interventions to Prevent Malaria and Anemia: What Program Managers and Policymakers Should Know.” This brief was developed by USAID’s Maternal and Child Survival Program in collaboration with the President’s Malaria Initiative.
As countries accelerate efforts to scale up coverage of IPTp and IFA supplementation, both the consensus statement and the brief provide key information for policy makers, program managers and supporting partners to support effective program planning and implementation. They are complementary; the consensus statement highlights the WHO policy recommendations followed by key questions and responses and the brief builds on this giving the reader further details to support program implementation.