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Intermittent presumptive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp) of malaria using sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) was introduced in Nigeria in 2005 to reduce the burden of malaria in pregnancy. By 2013, 23% of reproductive aged women surveyed received SP for malaria prevention in their last pregnancy of the past 5 years. This paper highlights geographic and socio-economic variations and inequities in accessing and using SP for malaria prophylaxis in pregnancy in Nigeria, as well as client-related and service delivery determinants.
Secondary data from 2013 Nigeria demographic and health survey (DHS) was used. Sample of 38,948 eligible women were selected for interview using stratified three-stage cluster design. Data obtained from the individual recode dataset was used for descriptive and logistic regression analysis of factors associated with SP use in pregnancy was performed. Independent variables were age, media exposure, region, place of residence, wealth index, place of antenatal care (ANC) attendance and number of visits.
Women in the upper three wealth quintiles were 1.33 - 1.80 times more likely to receive SP than the poorest (CI: 1.15-1.56; 1.41-1.97; 1.49-2.17). Women who received ANC from public health facilities were twice as likely (inverse of OR 0.68) to use SP in pregnancy than those who used private facilities (CI: 0.60-0.76). Those who attended at least 4 ANC visits were 1.46 times more likely to get SP prophylaxis (CI: 1.31-1.63). Using the unadjusted odds ratio, women residing in rural areas were 0.86 times less likely to use SP compared to those in urban areas.
Inequities in access to and use of SP for malaria prophylaxis in pregnancy exist across sub-population groups in Nigeria. Targeted interventions on the least covered are needed to reduce existing inequities and scale-up IPTp of malaria.