Dr Julie Gutman, Co-chair of the Malaria in Pregnancy Working Group, RBM Partnership to End Malaria (USA), discusses the working group and the importance of MiMBa.
1. Could you briefly describe the RBM Malaria in Pregnancy Working Group (MiPWG)?
The working group is a diverse partnership made up of Ministry of Health leaders from both national reproductive health programmes and National Malaria Control Programmes (NMCPs), technical partners, researchers and donors that come together to bridge the gap between global policy and country practice, with the goal of accelerating malaria in pregnancy (MiP) programme implementation.
2. What are the functions of the working group?
The MiPWG aims to align RBM partners on best practices and lessons learnt in MiP programming to help achieve higher coverage for MiP interventions globally. This is done through advocacy at national and global levels, fostering partnerships between national reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health and national malaria control partners, disseminating country experiences and best practices related to scaling up MiP interventions and ensuring linkages between researchers and NMCPs so that research is used to guide policy.
3. How does the MiMBa strategy align with the goals of the working group?
MiMBa’s goals of broadening access to current antimalarials and investing in new molecules for the future are perfectly aligned with the working group’s goals of optimizing treatment and prevention of MiP.
4. What is it like to work with MMV in this working group?
MMV has been a wonderful partner and has provided an immense amount of support to the working group to help us achieve our objectives of highlighting the low uptake of IPTp. With respect to ensuring optimal treatment for MiP, we are excited about working with countries to support implementation of the new WHO recommendation to provide ACTs for treatment of malaria in the first trimester. We believe that this transition will improve malaria case management both by providing more effective treatment for pregnant women and by simplifying guidance for healthcare workers, thus improving adherence. We look forward to working with MMV to support this shift, and to generate additional evidence on the safety of ACTs other than artemether-lumefantrine.