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MALARIA IN PREGNANT WOMEN LIVING IN SLUMS

Globally,  there  are  concerns  about  malaria infection  because  it  is  one  of  the  major  causes  of morbidity  and  mortality,  especially  in  Africa. Malaria  is  a  life-threatening  parasitic  disease transmitted  from  person  to  person  by  the  bite  of anopheles  mosquitoes.
All ages are susceptible but children under 5 years  and pregnant women are particularly at risk of severe and complicated malaria. Malaria has remained a major public health problem in Nigeria and it is responsible for 30% childhood and 11% maternal mortality despite the availability of effective interventions.
Malaria during pregnancy has been associated with increased incidence of anaemia, spontaneous abortions, preterm labour, fetal distress, congenital infections, fetal death in- utero, still births and intrauterine growth restriction.
Many pregnant women who due to poverty and/or lack of education do not go for antenatal care and have no access to preventive malaria care may hence present when the disease is severe.
Therefore in order to prevent the deleterious effects of malaria during pregnancy, intermittent preventive treatment (IPT) of asymptomatic pregnant women, use of insecticide treated bed nets (ITNs) and prompt and effective case management of malaria have been recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a three pronged approach to the prevention and control of malaria during pregnancy in areas of stable transmission.