Improving Intermittent Preventive Treatment in Pregnancy and Antenatal Care Coverage

The Malaria Communities Program (MCP), supported by the US President’s Malaria Initiative, has increased local and indigenous capacity to undertake community-based malaria prevention and treatment activities; built local ownership of malaria control for the long term in partnership with communities and National Malaria Control Programs (NMCPs); and extended coverage of PMI and NMCP interventions to reach a larger beneficiary population. Below is a summary of the third in a series of MCP case studies found on the website of MCHIP – the USAID Maternal and Child Health Integrated Project.

The full case study on improving coverage of two doses of intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp) and attendance at antenatal care clinics, the main platform for delivering IPTp can be found at: http://www.mchip.net/node/2082

This IPTp/ANC case study focuses on four MCP partners and their contributions to improving the second dose of intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp2) and ANC coverage: Medical Teams International (MTI) Uganda, Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) Angola, Caritas Senegal, and the Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB) Zambia. MCHIP collected multiple forms of data from each MCP partner using qualitative methods, including individual interviews with key project personnel and review of key documents.

MCHIP then compared data across organizations to better understand the total contributions made by the MCP. Some partners conducted surveys and relevant quantitative data are included in this report. Data are limited by a lack of standardized reporting on this topic. Although MIP interventions comprise more than IPTp and ANC, the three sub-themes emerging from this review are: 1) mobilizing communities to increase ANC and IPTp uptake; 2) using behavior change communication (BCC) to inform women and their families about the importance of ANC and IPTp; and 3) improving access to quality ANC services.

IPTp Chart 1 smChart 1 shows results from MCP projects that collected survey data regarding IPTp, and indicates significant improvements in coverage in those project areas. MCP partners built partnerships between communities and health facilities to improve access. As exemplified by strategies such as VHTs accompanying pregnant women to health facilities and assisting midwives in administration of IPTp, when communities and facilities work together the partnership yields not only improved outcomes but also improved attitudes among providers and clients. MTI successfully expanded the Ministry of Health package of Village Health Team services to address malaria in pregnancy in their project area.

MCP partners implemented interpersonal communication strategies to increase demand for and use of MIP-related services. MCP partners also encouraged male participation to increase coverage of MIP-related
services.

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