Although malaria is preventable and treatable, an estimated 429,000 people died from the disease in 2015, according to data from the World Health Organization. Pregnant women are particularly vulnerable, and developing malaria during pregnancy can lead to low birthweight for newborns and even stillbirths. In some cases, malaria can be fatal for the mother. Although great strides have been made in the past decade to increase the number of women who receive medication to prevent malaria in pregnancy, the coverage rate of intermittent preventive treatment (IPT) in pregnancy remains about 30 percent in 20 African countries. Through partnerships with governments and corporations, Jhpiego has been on the frontlines to reduce malaria in pregnancy by bringing care close to where women live. Whether in Kenya or Nepal, community health workers are keeping track of pregnant women and encouraging them to attend prenatal care appointments to receive preventive malaria treatment. Through these efforts, Jhpiego supported programs in 14 countries and reached more than 1.3 million pregnant women with the required doses of IPT. *
Our work has ranged from providing technical assistance for the prevention, diagnosis and case management of malaria in Burkina Faso, with a focus on expectant mothers and children under 5, to helping the government of Nepal eliminate malaria permanently.
Nepal has accomplished what many other countries in the developing world can only aspire to—reducing by more than half the number of confirmed cases of the often fatal disease in just 6 years. MCSP has been working closely with Nepal’s Ministry of Health to build the technical and management capacity of its national malaria elimination program.
One of the game-changers in Nepal’s efforts has been the use of mobile technology to notify district malaria teams of any malaria case detected in the community. Quick notification allows for speedy diagnosis, testing and treatment, reducing the risk of a greater outbreak.
* Includes 2015 data from Burkina Faso.