LINDA NYONDO, Lusaka
ABOUT US$50 million has been released to sub-Saharan countries for a prevention therapy for malaria known as ‘Intermittent prevention treatment in pregnancy (IPTp).
The prevention therapy has been launched to prevent malaria in pregnancy in communities in sub-Saharan Africa.
The initiative is expected to complement existing antenatal care services and increase pregnant women’s opportunities to access care under a grant signed by UNITAID and Jhpiego, an international non-profit health organisation, and affiliate of the Johns Hopkins University.
In a statement released recently, the community-based IPTp approach will supplement and complement existing antenatal care services by reaching 400,000 pregnant women and their babies in Sub-Saharan Africa.
According to a WHO report, in areas of high malaria transmission, pregnant women and young children are especially vulnerable to malaria infection and deaths.
The WHO report states that 429,000 people died from malaria in 2015, despite the disease being preventable.
“Accelerating access to this critical, lifesaving preventive therapy, we are hoping to avert further unnecessary deaths from malaria,’’ UNIAID executive director Lelio Marmora said.
And Jhpiego chief executive officer and president Leslie Mancuso said the project offers an opportunity to demonstrate an innovative approach to address pregnant women’s needs, and stop malaria in pregnancy.
“Preventing malaria in pregnancy and reducing malaria-related deaths is achievable, and this partnership will go a long way toward reaching those goals,’’ she said.