The review study consolidated the results of four African trials involving more than 6,000 women. It showed conclusively that using ITNs reduced the number of miscarriages by one third in the most vulnerable women, those in their first pregnancies. The proportion of low-birthweight babies born to this group went down by nearly a quarter and these women also had fewer parasites in their blood compared to those who used no nets.
Although it seems sensible to use ITNs – indeed the World Health Organization recommends that pregnant women use them where malaria is endemic – the nets are widely unpopular. “Women complain that they feel suffocated”, said Dr Thomas Agan, Consultant Obstetrician at Calabar Teaching Hospital in south-eastern Nigeria. Yet there are huge risks to women and their babies, as Dr Agan knows only too well.
Malaria is endemic in Calabar, the mangroves providing perfect conditions for the mosquito vectors to thrive. “A recent study here involving more than 500 pregnant women showed that only 20 had no malaria parasites in their bloodstream”, Dr Agan said. “We need mass education through the media of the benefits of the nets” he said.
Malaria in pregnancy causes anaemia, making women weak, more likely to miscarry or give birth to stillborn or low-birthweight babies. Newborn babies weighing less than 2.5 kg are considered low birthweight; they are more prone to sickness and death than newborns who weigh more than 2.5 kg. Malaria causes most damage in early pregnancy, making it important to get women using the nets long before they first turn up at antenatal clinics.
Paul Garner of the International Health Group at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and co-author of the review said it “gives health professionals the ammunition they need to publicise the benefits of ITNs and get pregnant women using them”. The research was supported by the UK Department for International Development’s Effective Health Care Research Programme.
Paul Garner | alfa
'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers
16.02.2018 | National University of Science and Technology MISIS
New process allows tailor-made malaria research
16.02.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.02.2018 | Life Sciences