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New Approaches to Improve Coverage and Compliance of Antimalarial Treatment for Pregnant Women in Rural Africa
Framework programme:
Project number:
EC contribution:
€ 859 930
36 months
Starting date:
1 February 2002


Malaria during pregnancy is a major public health problem in endemic countries. The administration of an effective antimalarial drug during pregnancy has a beneficial effect on the mother and child's health. However, few African countries have implemented programmes that have achieved good coverage and little attention has been given to this problem. This project proposes to evaluate two different approaches for the delivery of antimalarial intermittent treatment to pregnant women: one based on a campaign promoting the use of sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) distributed through existing health services, and the other on a village-based SP distribution system employing peer educators from an adolescent girls' literacy programme. Advantages and disadvantages of the two approaches will be compared and their applications in different settings evaluated. Results generated by this study will be applicable to a large range of situations in Africa.


The aim is to explore innovative approaches to deliver antimalarial intermittent treatment to pregnant women in developing countries in order to increase coverage and compliance, and prevent the malaria negative effects. These approaches are based either on the promotion of intermittent treatment through existing health services or through a village-based distribution system. The specific objectives are:

1) to develop a promotional campaign for the use of intermittent antimalarial treatment during pregnancy through the health services

2) to evaluate the impact of intermittent antimalarial treatment when supported by a campaign promoting its use

3) to evaluate the impact of a village-based distribution system of intermittent treatment for pregnant women based on peer educators from an adolescent girls literacy programme.

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