We study the protective response to sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) during intermittent presumptive treatment (IPT) of malaria in pregnant women. Pregnant women attending the antenatal service of the primary health centre in Sagamu, Nigeria were enrolled into the study. In addition to the usual treatment with haematinics, participants were randomized into two treatments; SP treated (SPTG) and no SP treated (NSPTG) groups. Information on methods of protection against malaria infection and previous use of IPT was obtained from the participants. All participants were followed up for eight weeks and monitored for peripheral parasitaemia using microscopy. Of the 242 pregnant women enrolled 165(68.2%) pregnant women used at least one form of anti-vector measure; insecticide spray was most common. 186 (76.9%) of these participant had no knowledge of the IPT. Parasite Suppression and malaria pigment-clusters clearance were similar in the two groups. Although knowledge of IPT among pregnant women in the area remains low, use of high anti-vectors in pregnant women population may complement, but blur, the effect of IPT on malaria parasite.
Key words: Intermittent presumptive treatment, malaria, pregnant women, sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine, insecticide.
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