Welcome to the website of the Malaria in Pregnancy (MiP) Consortium. Between 2007 and 2017, a partnership of 47 expert institutions worldwide joined together in pursuit of a consensus research strategy to address the major research gaps in malaria infection during pregnancy.
Annually, as many as 125 million pregnancies occur in malaria endemic countries. Infection with malaria in pregnancy can result in pregnancy loss, maternal death, severe maternal anaemia and low infant birth weight which greatly increases the risk of death.
Malaria in pregnancy is responsible for as many as 100,000 children dying needlessly every year. In sub-Saharan Africa, where malaria is endemic in most countries, severe malaria accounts for approximately 10% of maternal deaths, suggesting that an estimated 25,000 maternal deaths could be prevented each year by improved control of malaria in pregnancy.
The MiP consortium, led by the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), was established with an initial grant of $31 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with co-funding from the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trails Partnership (EDCTP) and the European Union along with other funders.
Some MiP HIghlights
- Updating estimates for the number of pregnancies at risk globally, with estimates for outside Africa more than double previous WHO estimates.
- Providing greater reassurance of the safety of the artemisinin class of antimalarials when used in early pregnancy, leading WHO to consider updating their guidelines for the treatment of malaria in the first trimester.
- Undertaking a meta-analysis of the dosing strategy which resulted in WHO updating the global intermittent preventative therapy policy (in 2012) from the original two-dose regimen to monthly dosing at every antenatal clinic visit, which was highly cost effective.
- Results from a prevention trial in Kenya showing a viable alternative to the drug currently used for intermittent preventive treatment, which is under increasing pressure due to drug resistance.
- Since 2017, several members of the MiP Consortium within the IMPPACT project (EDCTP-funded) have worked to consolidate the Consortium’s research and put it into practice in partnership with national malaria programmes and ministries of health. IMPPACT partners in the Gambia, Malawi, Mali and Kenya supported activities to ensure that our research can be of benefit to those that need it most and help to save the lives of mothers and their babies. LSTM’s ongoing collaboration with the Worldwide Antimalarial Resistance Network (WWARN) means that the information about our research is readily available to policy makers everywhere, providing a scientific evidence basis for prevention strategies and ensuring that pregnant women with malaria receive safe and effective malaria treatment. LSTM together with the IMPROVE partners is leading two new clinical trials funded by EDCTP of intermittent preventive therapy with dihydroartemisin-piperaquine as an alternative to the currently recommended drug, sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine, for the prevention of malaria in pregnancy in HIV-infected and uninfected pregnant women are currently underway in Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi.
- Our work is nothing without our partners and through the continued and new support of our funders we aim to expand our expertise and ensure that rigorous scientific investigation of the safety and efficacy of antimalarials used during pregnancy continues. Together we will work to end the devastating impact that malaria infection can have on women and their unborn babies throughout endemic countries.