274600 Contemporary Issues in Malaria in Pregnancy: Why worry now?

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 10:30 AM - 10:50 AM

Mary Nell Wegner, EdM, MPH , Maternal Health Task Force at the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
This paper will describe current general trends in the decline of maternal mortality and malaria-attributable adult deaths , noting the larger estimated burden of adult mortality due to malaria than previously realized. Of approximately 655,000 deaths due to malaria in 2010, more than 90% were in Africa, Of the adult population, pregnant women are the most vulnerable to malaria (an estimated 25-30 million pregnant women are exposed annually) and, therefore, most at risk for an adverse outcome.

With an increasingly overburdened antenatal care platform in most developing countries, lack of harmonization of policies and protocols for managing malaria in pregnancy, increasing drug resistance to sulfadoxine pyremethamine (the current drug of choice in much of sub-Saharan Africa), the emergence of fake drugs on the market, the serious threat of HIV as a co-morbidity, and an urgent need for resources to acquire and distribute bed nets, previous gains made in addressing malaria in pregnancy are currently threatened. Only with strategic collaboration between the maternal health and malaria communities can policy and programs effectively address this critical issue.

The Maternal Health Task Force, in collaboration with several partners, recently convened a technical meeting in Istanbul, Turkey to bring together the maternal health and malaria communities to share evidence and discuss next steps for building a strong collaboration between the communities in order to effectively tackle malaria in pregnancy in sub-Saharan Africa. Findings from the recent gathering of 40 experts will be shared.

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain the current climate of malaria in pregnancy in sub-Saharan Africa and three reasons why this issue requires immediate attention. 2. List two reasons the situation has recently changed.

Keywords: Maternal Health, Infectious Diseases

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been working on the issue of malaria in pregnancy on behalf of the Maternal Health Task Force, and managed a gathering of experts on this issue in Istanbul, Turkey in late June 2012. I have no research or financial stake in the issue or any conflicts of interest.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.