Travel advice for pregnant women
Therefore, all pregnant women who are living in or traveling to a malaria-risk area should consult a doctor and take prescription drugs (for example, sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine) to avoid contracting malaria. Treatment of malaria in the pregnant female is similar to the usual treatment described above; however, drugs such as primaquine (Primaquine), tetracycline (Achromycin, Sumycin), doxycycline, and halofantrine (Halfan) are not recommended as they may harm the fetus. In addition to monitoring the patient for anemia, an OB-GYN specialist is consulted for further management.
Sleeping under ITNs remains an important strategy for protecting pregnant women and their newborns from malaria-carrying mosquitoes. In addition, in areas of high and moderate transmission of Plasmodium falciparum malaria (the most prevalent type of malaria in Africa), intermittent treatment with an antimalarial drug is a cost-effective means of preventing malaria in pregnancy. The current recommendation is to give at least two doses of a safe and effective antimalarial (currently, sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine) to all pregnant women living in these areas.
In areas of low or unstable malaria transmission, pregnant women have low immunity to malaria and a two- to threefold higher risk of severe malarial illness than non-pregnant women. In these areas, use of ITNs and prompt case management of pregnant women with fever and malarial illness are the main strategies for malaria prevention and treatment.
Your risk of getting malaria depends on your age, history of exposure to malaria, and whether you are pregnant. Most adults who have lived in areas where malaria is present have developed partial immunity to malaria because of previous infections and so almost never develop severe disease. But young children who live in these areas and travelers to these areas are especially at risk for malaria because they have not developed this immunity.
Pregnant women are more likely than nonpregnant women to get severe malaria, because the immune system is suppressed during pregnancy.
In addition, pregnant women, young children, older adults, and people with other health problems are more likely to have serious complications if they get malaria.