Project: Maximising the public health impact of interventions to control Malaria in pregnancy through the translation of EDCTP-funded evidence-based global policies to country level policies and plans.

Acronym IMPP-ACT (Reference Number: EDCTP-CSA-2014-276)
Duration 01/01/2016 - 31/12/2017
Project Topic Context and Rationale: The effectiveness of current interventions to control malaria in pregnancy, namely intermittent preventive treatment, insecticide treated nets and case management of malaria and anemia, is limited by suboptimal implementation and is threatened by increasing parasite and vector resistance to currently recommended drugs and insecticides, respectively. In 2015, the Malaria in Pregnancy (MiP) Consortium completed a series of EDCTP-funded and co-funded multicentre clinical trials and multidisciplinary studies evaluating new drugs for the treatment of malaria in pregnancy and alternative drugs or strategies for prevention in Africa. These results were presented to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Evidence Review Group to help define appropriate strategies in different transmission and resistance strata in sub-Saharan Africa for the period 2015-2020. On the basis of WHO recommendations arising from this meeting, the MiP Consortium aim to exploit these results to support countries to optimize strategies, develop evidence-based policies and implementation plans to strengthen health provider practices in the countries which participated in the research, as exemplars for other countries. Overall Objective: To ensure the translation of WHO recommendations on malaria in pregnancy control policy resulting from the MiP Consortium’s research into country level policy and implementation plans. Specific Research Objectives: We aim to 1) Develop and make widely-available a package of methodological tools which define optimal, cost-effective malaria in pregnancy interventions by drug resistance and transmission strata across sub-Saharan Africa using data from EDCTP-funded research; 2) Advance optimal uptake of evidence-base through analysis of national level policy decision-making architecture and processes for the control of malaria in pregnancy to inform support in four selected countries, and evaluate the success of the policy change support processes as an exemplar to other countries; 3) Provide expertise to support national policy change and preparation for implementation in the selected countries and ensure dissemination to policy stakeholders in the remaining trial countries; 4) Maintain the MiP Consortium’s advocacy, networking and dissemination functions and policy liaison activities with WHO. Expected outcome: The project will directly support translation of WHO policy recommendations into country level policies and plans through the development of methodological tools and in-country support for policy change. Partners and Networking: The project includes four African countries/institutions (Gambia, Mali, Kenya and Malawi) serving as sub-regional hubs, 3 UK partners, and one US partner. The project is implemented under the auspices of the EDCTP co-funded Malaria in Pregnancy Consortium. Activities: Methodological tools for translation into public health programmes - Development of methodological tools and guidelines to support countries to identify and deploy the safest and most cost effective treatment and prevention interventions according to different epidemiological strata. Updated maps of the effectiveness of IPTp-SP in relation to SP resistance across sub-Saharan Africa have been published (Walker et al., PLoS Med 2017). Policy analysis and evaluation of translation activities - Studies in the Gambia, Mali, Kenya and Malawi to assess the policy decision-making structures and processes required to formulate policy for control of malaria in pregnancy are ongoing. Findings will be used to facilitate policy change and implementation according to country specific contexts. At the end of the project, we will evaluate which activities drive policy change and implementation preparedness in each country. Technical support to countries to formulate national policies and plans for implementation, monitoring and evaluation - Two regional meetings, one in East Africa and one in West Africa, to disseminate the MiP Consortium’s research activities followed by technical support to national policy makers and technical agencies responsible for formulation and implementation of policy and guidelines on malaria in pregnancy in the four focus countries. The first meeting in East Africa was held in collaboration with the RBM MiP Working group in July 2016 (annex 2). Country research partners are working with technical working groups to provide technical guidance for policy guidelines and implementation in project countries. Project webpage: website.
Project Results
(after finalisation)
• Methodological tools for translation into public health programmes: Development of policy and technical briefs to support the implementation of WHO policies on malaria in pregnancy in Gambia, Mali, Kenya and Malawi. • Policy analysis and evaluation of translation activities - Studies in the Gambia, Mali, Kenya and Malawi to assess the policy decision-making structures and processes required to formulate policy for control of malaria in pregnancy. • Technical support to national-level policy makers: engagement with malaria in pregnancy technical working groups to provide technical guidance on policy implementation in the Gambia, Mali, Kenya and Malawi. The project accomplished wide research dissemination at national level but evidence of its contributions to national policy formulation on malaria in pregnancy is yet to be demonstrated.
Website visit project website
Network EDCTP2
Call Maximising the impact of EDCTP research: translation of research results into policy and practice

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine Coordinator United Kingdom
2 Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine Partner United Kingdom
3 Kenya Medical Research Institute Partner Kenya
4 London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Partner United Kingdom
5 Medical Research Council Partner United Kingdom
6 Université des Sciences, des Techniques et des Technologies de Bamako Partner Mali
7 University of Malawi, College of Medicine Partner Malawi