Pregnant women are more vulnerable to severe malaria. If not taken care of, it increases the risk associated with pregnancy, especially in the first and second trimester of pregnancy. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), on an average 10,000 women die as a result of malaria infection during pregnancy. Amongst these more than half of the deaths are attributed to malarial anaemia.
Malarial infection during pregnancy can lead to serious consequences such as:
Pregnant women must routinely undergo Intermitted preventive treatment (IPT) as a part of antenatal care. It reduces the risk of placenta malaria, low birth weight and anaemia. IPT for pregnant women require administration of anti-malarial drug twice in entire pregnancy. WHO has recommended sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (malarial drug) for IPT for pregnant women. This reduces the risk of placental infection by 52 percent. It is however important that IPT is performed under the supervision of experts.
Women with severe malarial symptoms must be given emergency care by the experts. Blood transfusion, and administration of anti-malarial drugs are some of the life saving measures.
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