Letter launched by the RBM Partnership to End Malaria calls for expansion of global and national responses
In 2020, a staggering 11.6 million pregnant women were infected with malaria in sub-Saharan Africa, resulting in high levels of stillbirths, maternal and newborn deaths, and low birthweight babies.1 MMV, as a member of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria, echoes the organization’s call for decision-makers to support increased funding for, and access to, quality antenatal care and preventive malaria treatment in pregnancy.
Signature collection is ongoing and the letter will be delivered to heads of state and ministers of health ahead of the African Union Summit in 2023.
Over the past two decades, steady progress has been achieved in the fight against malaria, with the death rate deceasing by half.2 However, pregnant women and their children—the populations most vulnerable to malaria—are being left behind. Coverage of preventive antimalarial treatment during pregnancy increased slowly since 2010 but has remained well below global targets. In 2020, disruptions to malaria programmes linked to the COVID-19 pandemic meant that even fewer eligible pregnant women received the full course of this lifesaving intervention.3
The open letter calls for decision makers to support the following actions:
- Provide sufficient funding to address malaria in pregnancy
- Ensure adequate quantities of quality-assured sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) for preventive malaria treatment in pregnancy are available at facilities
- Train antenatal care facility staff to provide quality services to meet women’s comprehensive needs
- Promote early antenatal care attendance and timely uptake of preventive malaria medicine at the community level
- Remove fees and address other barriers to care seeking.
For more information please visit the RBM Partnership to End Malaria website.
1. WHO, World Malaria Report 2021.