Malaria in Pregnancy – analyzing processes, involving new partners

Malaria in Pregnancy: A Solvable Problem—Bringing the Maternal Health and Malaria Communities Together – a meeting in Istanbul organized by the Maternal Health Task Force, Harvard University.

Take Away Messages from Day 2 Presentations. Report by James Kisia, Kenya Red Cross.

Jayne Webster of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine as the Malaria in Pregnancy Consortium shared a tool that helps identify and address barriers to the delivery of malaria in pregnancy services.  She referred to the tool as “An innovative ‘soft’ technology, a decision-making tool to improve the effectiveness of the delivery of IPTp and ITNs.” The tool is still under development, but key components were presented.

dscn1612b.jpgJayne noted that there are still research questions to answer on how to effectively implement interventions, but while we are waiting for these questions to be answered there are improvements in data collection, collation and use to be made and used for decision making.

Jayne said that we must use the wealth of knowledge we already have to start to take action and make improvements! She took us through the work in progress of a decision tool for use by health managers to assess country and/or sub-national barriers and priority actions required for effective scale-up of the IPTp and ITNs. The tool will eventually be available on the Malaria in Pregnancy Consortium website.

Nancy Nachbar of Abt Associates presented her experiences on Malaria in Pregnancy: The role of the private sector. She said we must talk about the complete health system. If we fail to consider the private sector, we are not considering the whole system!

Half of care for fever or Diarrhea is happening in the private sector- and much of this is happening in the informal sector. Those who are poorer are utilizing the informal sector for treatment seeking. Unfortunately we lack similar utilization data for antenatal care.

Nancy discussed challenges to private sector participation from the public sector perspective as well as from the private sector perspective. She also discussed opportunities for improving private sector participation in MiP prevention. Nancy incited and excited us to think about way out ideas. One creative idea: Could tithing be used as a funding source for malaria in pregnancy?

A key factor to tie these presentations together is the need to develop tools to assess and guide not only the public sector, but also private health care providers on malaria services to pregnant women.

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