USAID, Sierra Leone Government and Partners Contribute to Addressing Malaria in Pregnancy in Sierra Leone

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone — The National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) in Sierra Leone will conduct a three-day workshop from March 22-24, 2017, to align its vital Malaria in Pregnancy (MIP) guidelines developed in 2005 with its 2016-2020 Malaria Strategic Plan which aims to protect at least 80% of pregnant women and children under one year with Intermittent Preventive Treatment for pregnant women (IPTp3) by 2020  and address the current World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations and Sustainable Development Goals, which look to, in part, reduce global malaria mortality rates by at least 90 percent by 2030. 

Implemented through the USAID-funded Leadership, Management and Governance (LMG) project at Management Sciences for Health (MSH), the workshop will be led by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation through the NMCP, the LMG-NMCP Technical Advisor, and the Malaria Consortium, and will include more than 20 government partners and global organizations that are dedicated to improving the lives of women and children in Sierra Leone.

Malaria is an enormous global health problem, disproportionately affecting children under 5 and pregnant women, with infection during pregnancy posing substantial risk to the mother and her fetus. The disease is endemic in Sierra Leone, and pregnant women are exposed to increased anemia, increased risk of severe malaria, fetal loss, low birthweight, and increased infant mortality. During the workshop, participants will update and ensure all guidelines offer Sierra Leone’s government and partners the best chance at preventing and treating malaria in pregnancy and children and decreasing mortality rates nationwide.  

“Revising and updating these documents will improve coordination and collaboration between local and global health partners delivering maternal and child health services,” said Dr. Saad El-Din Hussein Hassan, Health Advisor, USAID Sierra Leone. “District Health Management Teams and NGOs will use these documents to support capacity building of Health Facilities and community health workers, including traditional birth attendants (TBAs), and improve on the quality of care and prevention of malaria for pregnant women.”

Workshop participants will also review and update the existing IPTp training manuals for facilitators and participants, according to the current WHO recommendations and the Sierra Leone Malaria Strategic Plan 2016-2020.