At least 125.2m women at malaria risk become pregnant each year

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Washington, Jan 26 (ANI): A new research has found that nearly 125.2 million women at risk of malaria fall pregnant annually.

The study has appeared in PLoS Medicine.

Plasmodium falciparum, a protozoan parasites thriving in the tropical and sub-tropical, is the cause of the most malaria deaths. However, P. vivax malaria is the most common type of malaria and also occurs in temperate regions. Most malarial deaths are among young children in sub-Saharan Africa but pregnant women and their unborn babies are at high risk. Nearly 10,000 women and 200,000 babies die every year because of malaria in pregnancy, which often leads to miscarriages, pre-term births, and low-birth-weight births.

Earlier, malaria estimates were only available for Africa. But now researchers have estimated the sizes of populations at risk of malaria in 2007 by combining maps of the global limits of P. vivax and P. falciparum transmission with data on population densities.

They used statistics from different sources to work out the annual number of pregnancies - the sum of live births, induced abortions, miscarriages and still births - in each country. They determined the annual number of pregnancies at risk of malaria in each country by multiplying the number of pregnancies in the entire country by the fraction of the population living within the spatial limits of malaria transmission in that country.

This study helps improve the global understanding of malaria risk in pregnancy.

In 2007, 54.7 million pregnancies occurred in areas with stable P. falciparum malaria and a further 70.5 million in areas with exceptionally low malaria transmission or with P. vivax only.

Thus, this is the first time species specific risks have been calculated globally for malaria in pregnancy. (ANI)

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