IRIN/PlusNews on Friday examined the effects of malaria on pregnant women and people living with HIV/AIDS in Mozambique. In malaria-endemic countries such as Mozambique, some people can "gradually build up" resistance to malaria, according to IRIN/PlusNews.
However, this resistance diminishes in pregnant women and HIV-positive people, increasing their vulnerability to the disease, IRIN/PlusNews reports. Mozambique, which has a population of 19.8 million, has an HIV prevalence of about 16%.
The prevalence of malaria among pregnant women in the country is about 20%, according to data from the National Malaria Control Program.
The distribution of insecticide-treated nets, particularly among pregnant women, is one of Mozambique's primary strategies to fight malaria. During the past three years, the Malaria Consortium and the Red Cross of Mozambique have distributed more than 700,000 ITNs in several regions in the country.
In addition, Mozambique health ministry policy requires that pregnant women starting at 20 weeks' gestation undergo intermittent preventive treatment, which involves a series of prophylactic pills that can reduce the risk of contracting malaria.
The Mozambique Red Cross also has trained its health technicians throughout the country to take special care with cases of malaria among HIV-positive patients. HIV-positive people are more likely to contract malaria when they have progressed to AIDS, according to IRIN/PlusNews.
Armindo Tiago Junior of the Eduardo Mondlane Medical School said that a person with malaria might be hospitalized for an average of three days, but hospitalization increases to one week for a person with AIDS.
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation