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Journal of Tropical Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 648456, 6 pages
Review Article

Prevention of Congenital Transmission of Malaria in Sub-Saharan African Countries: Challenges and Implications for Health System Strengthening

1Department of Health Policy and Management, Faculty of Public Health, College of Medicine and University College Hospital, University of Ibadan, PMB 5017 General Post Office, 200212 Ibadan, Nigeria
2Department of Community Medicine, University College Hospital, PMB 5116, 200212 Ibadan, Nigeria

Received 1 June 2011; Accepted 27 July 2011

Academic Editor: Demba Sarr

Copyright © 2012 Kayode O. Osungbade and Olubunmi O. Oladunjoye. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. Review of burden of congenital transmission of malaria, challenges of preventive measures, and implications for health system strengthening in sub-Saharan Africa. Methods. Literature from Pubmed (MEDLINE), Biomed central, Google Scholar, and Cochrane Database were reviewed. Results. The prevalence of congenital malaria in sub-Saharan Africa ranges from 0 to 23%. Diagnosis and existing preventive measures are constantly hindered by weak health systems and sociocultural issues. WHO strategic framework for prevention: intermittent preventive therapy (IPT), insecticide-treated nets (ITNs), and case management of malaria illness and anaemia remain highly promising; though, specific interventions are required to strengthen the health systems in order to improve the effectiveness of these measures. Conclusion. Congenital malaria remains a public health burden in sub-Saharan Africa. Overcoming the challenges of the preventive measures hinges on the ability of national governments and development partners in responding to the weak health systems.