Half of the 5.4 million children under 5 years of age (U5) who die in the world annually live in the African region where falciparum malaria is a major cause of death.
Intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in infants (IPTi), consisting of the administration of sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine to infants, is a safe, efficacious and cost-effective intervention in reducing malaria.
Despite the WHO recommendation (2010) to administer IPTi alongside routine vaccinations in areas of high to moderate perennial transmission, IPTi is not implemented in most of African malaria endemic countries.
Recent studies in some African countries showed that azithromycin (AZi)– is associated with a significant reduction in child mortality when used for mass drug administration in the elimination of trachoma.
Evaluation of the impact on mortality reduction of the addition of AZi to IPTi (ITPi+) and assessment of bottlenecks for IPTi scale-up are needed before promoting their large scale-up.