MCDI has extensive experience in assisting countries in improving the provision of Intermittent Preventative Treatment in pregnancy (IPTp) as part of their prenatal care services. Most recently MCDI has provided extensive support to the National Malaria Control Programs and Ministries of Health in Benin and Equatorial Guinea to strengthen and increase coverage of ITPp.
IPTp in Benin
In Benin, the AMR3 project trained over three thousand health workers in ITPp administration during antenatal care (ANC) visits. Since the initial training, over two thousand health workers received refresher training in IPTp service provision during ANC visits and interpersonal communication (IPC) to support the uptake of IPTp.
MCDI also conducted a health situation analysis on IPTp coverage by health zone and department level with data from the previous 4 years. Through this “IPTp Barriers Study”, best practices in IPTp were identified and risk health zones with lower coverage where ARM3 focused its interventions. Based on the results of this study, the ARM3 Behavior Change Communication (BCC) strategy was updated, materials were reviewed and updated and a module of IPC was introduced at ANC centers to ensure that women are well treated by health workers. MCDI also introduced an ANC Visit Tracking System for pregnant women in conjunction with the health centers to ensure IPTp 2nd dose coverage in 2013 and referred 1200 women to ANC clinics.
As a result of these efforts in Benin, the percentage of women attending ANC clinics to receive two doses of IPTp under direct observation of a health worker increased from 28% in 2011 to 43% in 2014, to 60.3% in 2016.
IPTp in Equatorial Guinea
On Bioko Island in Equatorial Guinea, the BIMCP worked with the NMCP to introduce IPTp for pregnant women through all government health facilities on the Island starting in 2005. The intervention focused on ensuring that: (1) Sulfadoxine-Pyrimethamine (SP) was always available at Government ANC clinics, (2) the staffs at ANC clinics were trained and supervised to ensure the effective use of IPTp, and (3) messages were disseminated to pregnant women to encourage their visits to ANCs and promote their use of SP.