A photo from the Airbel Impact Lab archive
Democratic Republic of Congo

Determinants of Uptake of Intermittent Preventative Treatment for Malaria Among Pregnant Women in South Kivu

Two doses of intermittent preventative treatment in pregnancy in the second and third trimester decrease placental malaria and the associated adverse effects, including low birth weight. However, the number of women who attend the recommended number of antenatal visits is very small, resulting in low uptake of the second dose of intermittent preventative treatment, which is critical to reducing risks to the mother and newborn. This prospective cross-sectional study enrolled 368 women to look at associations between receiving intermittent preventative treatment at antenatal care visits and a variety of characteristics, including demographic factors, knowledge, and pregnancy history. Most of the women enrolled lived five kilometers or less from the health facility, confirming from the outset that distance reduces access to services. The study revealed the need to reinforce standards of care at the facilities; improve knowledge among women of reproductive age and their families, both with regard to the importance of antenatal care in general and malaria prevention in particular; and target women who had multiple pregnancies needed for education and outreach.