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About child and maternal health

Young children are much more vulnerable to all forms of illness. In infants this is because their immune systems are not yet fully developed, while in children under five they have not yet developed effective resistance to disease. Women are also at particular risk from malaria during pregnancy as their immune system is supressed.

Malaria can have a devastating effect on children’s education. Repeated infections cause children to miss large periods of school and anaemia, a side-effect of frequent malaria attacks, interferes with children’s ability to concentrate and causes chronic fatigue. Repeated illnesses from malaria can also exacerbate any malnutrition, which can both decrease the effectiveness of anti-malaria drugs and increase children’s susceptibility to the other main killer diseases: diarrhoea and pneumonia.

At Malaria Consortium, we actively seek opportunities to integrate maternal and neonatal care services into our work, particularly through our roll out of community based health care and case management. Our maternal and child health activities revolve around supporting health ministries in the development of policy and implementation of maternal and child health strategy, providing training, strengthening capacity of health officials, and undertaking research to improve malaria control in pregnancy.