1 June 2015
“Community-based scheduled screening and treatment of malaria in pregnancy for improved maternal and infant health: a cluster-randomized trial (COSMIC)” is funded by EU/FP7 and runs until August 2016.
Why is the project needed?
In countries where malaria is endemic, pregnant women have a higher risk of malaria than other adults. This risk is even higher among first time pregnant women who do not acquire any immunity before pregnancy. Infection usually occurs with the human immunodeficiency virus or in those from non-endemic countries. Malaria during pregnancy can have severe adverse effects on both the mother and the child. Consequences can be low birth weight babies who have a significantly higher risk of dying before their first birthday, preterm delivery and maternal death during pregnancy or during delivery, or severe complications from the malaria infection itself.
What is the focus and aims of the project?
COSMIC aims to bring health services closer to where women live and using village health workers to provide an antimalarial intervention to women with difficult access to the formal health system. COSMIC will thus combine existing sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine as intermittent preventive treatment (IPTp-SP) at antenatal clinics with systematic screening and treatment at the village level as an extension of existing community case management. The primary aim of COSMIC is thus to reduce malaria during pregnancy and the harmful complications that arise from this infection for both mother and child.
What stage is the study at?
COSMIC is a multi-centre study implemented in three West African countries: The Gambia, Burkina Faso and Benin. MRC The Gambia Unit is leading the coordination of the cluster trial. The fieldwork, based in the Upper River Region, The Gambia, began in November 2013 and recruitment is currently ongoing.
With the results of COSMIC we hope to provide an additional tool to decrease the unacceptably high malaria burden among pregnant women and consequently decrease mortality in infants. As this is a multicentre study, done in several countries, results should be of interest to many sub-Saharan African countries.
To find out more visit the European Year of Development website: https://europa.eu/eyd2015/en/european-union/stories/research-save-lives-women-and-children-africa