Journal of
Public Health and Epidemiology

  • Abbreviation: J. Public Health Epidemiol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2316
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPHE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 616

Full Length Research Paper

The effect of intermittent preventive treatment using sulphadoxine pyrimethamine in the control of malaria in pregnancy: A cross-sectional study in the Offinso district of Ghana

Emmanuel Osei Tutu1, 2*, Easmon Otupiri2, John Larbi1, Charles Brown3,Edmund Browne2 and Bernard Lawson1
1Department of Theoretical and Applied Biology, Faculty of Biosciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana. 2Department of Community Health, School of Medical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana. 3Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 15 April 2010
  •  Published: 30 June 2010


Malaria infection during pregnancy causes maternal anaemia and placental parasitaemia both of which pose substantial risks to the mother, the foetus and the newborn. This study assessed the effects of intermittent preventive treatment (IPTp) using sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) to control malaria in pregnancy in the Offinso district, Ghana. Pregnant women attending antenatal clinics (ANC) between October 2005 and June 2006 in five health facilities in the District were studied. The effects of SP on parasitaemia, haemoglobin level and adverse effects on pregnant women were assessed. Of the 444 pregnant women studied, 190 (43%) took SP. The influence of SP intake on malaria infection was insignificant (r = 0.0008, p = 0.986). However, there was a tendency towards reduced parasitaemia as number of SP doses increased; one dose: 29/82 (35%), two doses: 18/57 (32%) and three doses: 11/57 (22%). The mean Hb level (10.4 ± 1.69 g/dl) for the SP group (all doses combined) was significantly higher than that (9.9 ± 1.64 g/dl) in the no SP group (p = 0.002). Further, there was a significant association between IPTp using SP and haemoglobin level (p = 0.01) with a dose-response relationship. SP usage had no significant adverse effects on the pregnant women. Effective implementation of IPTp using SP is an evidence-based measure for control of malaria-related anaemia in pregnancy. 

Key words: Malaria, intermittent preventive treatment, pregnant women, sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine.