Malaria is a protozoan disease cause by Plasmodium species (Plasmodium falciparum is the most common in our environment i.e the tropics, and most deadly). Malaria in pregnancy is common because of low immunity during pregnancy. The effects of Malaria in pregnancy includes; Malaria attacks being more often, attacks are more severe, presentation may be atypical, complications are severe and treatment are more difficult because the unborn baby considerations.
Prevention is said to be better than cure; early recognition of pregnancy after a missed period and booking is essential. Intermittent Preventive Therapy (IPT) should be commence after the unborn baby have started kicking (Quickling). Tab Fansidar is mostly used, 3-4 doses should be given during pregnancy to prevent malaria. Early presentation to the hospital when pregnant women have symptoms of malaria (which includes intermittent fever with chills and rigor, headache, body aches, joint pain, nausea and vomiting) and avoidance of self-medication will help prevent serious complications associated with Malaria in pregnancy. Household prevention include ensuring all windows and doors are netted, clearing surrounding bushes, ensure drainages are through, fill up stagnant waters, ensure clean and healthy surrounding, regular fumigation with insecticide (avoid spraying insecticide close to bedtime). It’s also important for pregnant women to sleep under insecticide treated net. All these measures will help prevent Malaria in pregnancy.