Maternal Malaria and Malnutrition (M3) Initiative, a Pooled Birth Cohort of 13 Pregnancy Studies in Africa and the Western Pacific

Journal Articles
Nutrition, Health
BMJ Open
Holger W. Unger, Jordan E. Cates, Julie Gutman, et al.
Resource Publication Date:
December, 2016
Content Format:

The Maternal Malaria and Malnutrition (M3) initiative analyzed a pool of 13 research studies to (1) improve understanding of the interactions between malaria and nutrition and (2) identify pregnant women at high risk of adverse outcomes who may benefit from tailored intensive antenatal care. Two of the participating studies provided specific evidence regarding nutritional interventions during pregnancy. In Burkina Faso, multiple micronutrient-fortified food supplementation increased mean birth weight, with the greatest increase among women who were anemic or under-nourished early in their pregnancy. In Ghana, a study found modest overall increases in birth weight with the provision of lipid-based nutrient supplements compared with iron and folic acid supplementation, but showed that the intervention may be most effective when given to women who are giving birth for the first time. Overall, findings from each individual study emphasize how pooling these data has the potential to generate important information on malaria–nutrition interactions in pregnancy.

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