This quarter’s e-issue focuses on malaria in pregnancy, a critically important topic within the field of malaria prevention and control. The changes that occur in a woman’s body when she becomes pregnant, and particularly to her immune system, leave her especially vulnerable to contracting malaria, and experiencing severe illness.
Dr. Stephanie Valderramos describes these physiological changes in detail, and explains the consequences of failing to adequately protect women from malaria when they are pregnant, in her article “Plasmodium and Pregnancy.”
Her second piece, “Malaria in Pregnancy – How Many Lives Are at Risk?” goes on to explore the epidemiology of malaria in pregnancy, including demonstrating the scale of the problem, and the vast number of women who face the very real risk of contracting malaria while they are pregnant. However, the good news is that many efforts are underway to tackle the challenge of malaria in pregnancy, through prevention efforts such as the distribution of long-lasting insecticide treated bednets at antenatal clinics and treating pregnant women with special combinations of anti-malarial drugs, which keep both mother and fetus safe but also prevent infection with malaria.
The third article in our e-issue (“The Malaria Pregnancy Library: A Rich Resource for Information and Research“) describes some of the work of the Malaria in Pregnancy Consortium, a group of research institutions dedicated to finding new prevention and treatment approaches. Part of this effort is focused on sharing information, and the Consortium has developed an open source reference library in order to provide reseachers, practitioners, and people in endemic countries with the information they need to protect this especially vulnerable population from malaria..
And finally, in “Notes from the field: Q&A with Jackline,” we interview Jackline, a Ugandan medical doctor and maternal health specialist, about her work, and specifically her observations on the impacts of malaria on pregnant women.
I hope you enjoy these pieces and, as always, thank you for your interest in Malaria.com!
– Claire Standley, Managing Editor