Insecticide-treated nets to prevent malaria and anaemia in pregnant women
Pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to malaria as pregnancy reduces a woman’s immunity, making her more susceptible to malaria infection and increasing the risk of illness, anaemia, severe disease and death. For the unborn child, maternal malaria increases the risk of spontaneous abortion, stillbirth, premature delivery and low birth weight – a leading cause of child mortality.
Evidence shows that in malaria-endemic areas, sleeping under mosquito nets treated with an insecticide – usually a pyrethroid – is beneficial to the health of the pregnant woman, her fetus and the newborn infant.
To ensure universal coverage of insecticide-treated bednets for all people living in malaria risk areas, one bednet for use by every two people is recommended. Where this is not possible, WHO recommends making insecticide-treated bednets available to all pregnant women living in areas with stable (high) transmission of Plasmodium falciparum as a priority group. Their use should be encouraged throughout pregnancy and during the postpartum period to reduce the adverse effects of malaria, including anaemia.
Status: not currently available
Other guidance documents
Malaria in pregnancy: guidelines for measuring key monitoring and evaluation indicators
Protecting all pregnant women and children under five years living in malaria endemic areas in Africa with insecticide treated mosquito nets
A framework of strategic options for the integrated delivery of insecticide-treated nets and immunization
Statement: Protecting vulnerable groups in malaria-endemic areas in Africa through accelerated deployment of insecticide-treated nets. A joint statement by WHO and UNICEF
Related Cochrane reviews
Other related systematic reviews
Insecticide-treated nets for the prevention of malaria in pregnancy: a systematic review of randomized control trials