- Special Coverage
Unitaid, an international organization hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO), launched here on Monday a project to bring malaria prevention care to 400,000 pregnant women and their babies in four African countries.
According to Unitaid, with a budget of 50 million U.S. dollars, the "Transforming Intermittent Preventive Treatment for Optimal Pregnancy" (TIPTOP) project will be implemented in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Mozambique and Nigeria, countries from the Sub-Saharan region hit by malaria.
In Mozambique in particular, latest statistics indicated that more than 28 percent pregnant women are infected with malaria. The project will benefit 100,000 women from the province of Sofala in the central region of the country and will later be expanded to Nampula, the country's most populated province.
"The project will be an opportunity to increase the number of pregnant women seeking prenatal consultation, for a better management of medicines and an integration of the country's malaria control program between the health department and different partners and to increase the coverage of Intermittent Preventive Treatment for pregnant women (IPTp)," Nazira Abdula, minister of health for Mozambique, said during a launch ceremony of the five-year project in Maputo.
The minister said Mozambique is honored to launch a project of such a dimension, which is a clear evidence of the importance of preventing malaria in pregnancy worldwide, at a time when there is a global call for accelerating actions.
The TIPTOP project will equip local community members, traditional birth attendants, community health workers and volunteers with doses of sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) to be administered at community level.
Unitaid said this project accelerates access to innovative health products for those who need them most.
"We are excited to see Mozambique launch the TIPTOP project that will provide pregnant women with a life-saving medicine to protect them and their infants from malaria," said Lelio Marmora, executive director of Unitaid.
Malaria is one of the top killer diseases in Mozambique, of which pregnant women and children are among the main victims.