Giving Folic Acid with IPTp-SP

The Global Call to Action to Increase National Coverage of Intermittent Preventive Treatment of Malaria in Pregnancy for Immediate Impact recommends a low dose of folic acid to ensure the effectiveness of sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) as an anti-malarial. To support this guidance, the Roll Back Malaria Partnership Malaria in Pregnancy Working Group issued a Consensus Statement recommending giving less than 5 mg of folic acid per day during pregnancy. A new brief, developed by the Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP), and the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), explains the importance of both IPTp-SP and IFA supplementation during pregnancy, and why the dose of folic acid can and should be 0.4 mg per day, particularly when given in malaria endemic areas. 

Next steps for malaria control programs:

  • Work with nutritionists in country to ensure women are receiving the combined dose of IFA with 60 mg of iron and 0.4 mg of folic acid.
  • Reduce stores of the 5 mg dose of folic acid.
  • Scale-up IPTp-SP and IFA supplementation to ensure that at least 80 percent of pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa receive these life-saving interventions.
  • Monitor the coverage and impact of the package of interventions to reduce anemia including IPTp, IFA, and deworming.

For additional reading and resources on malaria and folic acid, click here.