MiMBa: Combatting malaria in pregnant and breastfeeding women

23 Sep 2020

Photo: Toby Madden/Transaid

“MiMBa” means pregnancy in Swahili. It also stands for Malaria in Mothers and Babies, an MMV initiative designed to accelerate discovery, development and delivery of appropriate antimalarial options for women who are of reproductive potential, pregnant, or breastfeeding.

Malaria in pregnancy is a significant public health issue, with 23 million women and girls becoming pregnant in developing regions every year. Malaria causes around 10,000 maternal deaths and 200,000 newborn deaths a year, while in 2018 alone an estimated 11 million pregnant women were infected1.

Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) is working together with partners to combat the threat of malaria in women that are pregnant, breastfeeding or of childbearing potential. Alongside heightened global awareness and a changing regulatory environment to provide more medicines for a patient population that traditionally has not been part of clinical research before registration of a new drug, MMV has updated its strategy and is planning to intensify efforts to address Malaria in Mothers and Babies (MiMBa) through drug development and deployment strategies.

Dr Myriam El Gaaloul, MiMBa initiative co-leader, says: “There are huge concerns about the few treatment options available for pregnant and breastfeeding women, especially in the first trimester and for women who might become pregnant.

“They are generally systematically excluded from research and clinical trials for fear of causing harm, as a result, when a new drug is registered, we do not know whether it can be given safely or that it is efficacious for them. As additional data is required, most drugs become available to pregnant women 5–10 years later. We want to change that.”

View the original article on Global Cause.