pregnancy

This survey assessed recently pregnant women's knowledge of malaria in pregnancy (MIP) and their experiences with community health workers (CHWs) prior to implementing community delivery of intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (cIPTp). Data were collected via a household survey in Ntcheu and Nkhata Bay Districts, Malawi, from women aged 16-49 years who had a pregnancy resulting in a live birth in the previous 12 months. A total of 370 women were interviewed. Women in both districts found their community health workers (CHWs) to be helpful (77.9%), but only 35.7% spoke with a CHW about antenatal care and 25.8% received assistance for malaria during their most recent pregnancy. A greater proportion of women in Nkhata Bay than Ntcheu reported receiving assistance with malaria from a CHW (42.7% vs 21.9%); women in Nkhata Bay were more likely to cite IPTp-SP as a way to prevent MIP (41.0% vs 24.8%) and were more likely to cite mosquito bites as the only way to spread malaria (70.6% vs 62.0%). Women in Nkhata Bay were more likely to receive 3 + doses of IPTp-SP (IPTp3) (59.2% vs 41.8%). Adequate knowledge was associated with increased odds of receiving IPTp3, although not statistically significantly so. Women reported positive experiences with CHWs, but there was not a focus on MIP. Women in Nkhata Bay were more likely to be assisted by a CHW, had better knowledge, and were more likely to receive IPTp3+ . Increasing CHW focus on the dangers of MIP and implementing cIPTp has the potential to increase IPTp coverage.

This systematic review (Jan. 2003-Dec. 2014) synthesized evidence on interventions that have directly reduced mortality in high-HIV-prevalence populations. Antiretroviral therapy (ART)was the only intervention identified that decreased death in HIV-infected pregnant and postpartum women. Multivitamin use was shown to reduce disease progression while other micronutrients and antibiotics had no beneficial effect on maternal mortality. The findings support global trends in encouraging initiation of lifelong ART for all HIV-infected pregnant and breastfeeding women (Option B+), regardless of their CD4+ count, as an important step in ensuring appropriate care and treatment.

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