Prevalence of Malaria among Pregnant Women in India

Project Description

Malaria is a parasitic infection transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. In India, 95% of the population is at risk of infection, with 2 to 3 million cases reported annually. In pregnant women, malaria can cause anemia and, in severe instances, kidney failure, shock, spontaneous bleeding, or convulsions. For the fetus, malaria in the mother’s blood may cause delayed fetal development, premature birth, low birth weight, or even stillbirth.

In order to increase the evidence base on malaria-related health consequences for both mothers and infants, the CGHD conducted a study in east India. The main goal of the study was to assess the prevalence of malaria in pregnancy in districts with high intensity of malaria transmission in two Indian states: Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.

The prevalence of malaria among pregnant women was relatively low in the study locations. However, given the large at-risk population in this malaria-endemic region of India, there is a need to enhance insecticide-treated bed net availability and use for prevention of malaria in pregnancy, and to improve case management of symptomatic pregnant women. In addition, it is important to increase knowledge of effective malaria prevention and treatment methods in communities where misconceptions and use of unproven prevention and treatment methods are common.

Key findings of these studies were presented to national policy makers as well as representatives from the WHO’s Southeast Asian Regional office in February 2009. These findings are being taken into consideration as policy makers move forward with plans for mitigating the adverse consequences of malaria in pregnant women in India.

This project is one activity of the CGHD’s Child and Family Applied Research project (CFAR).

Project Details

Principal Investigator Davidson Hamer
Boston University Co-Investigators William MacLeodLora SabinKojo Yeboah-Antwi
  • Meghna Desai, Neeru Singh, Venkatachalam Udhayakumar, and BlairWylie
  • National Institute of Malaria Research (NIMR), Jabalpur, India
Country(ies) India
Dates of Research 2006–2009