Malaria infection during pregnancy is a major public health problem in sub-Saharan Africa. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that gestational and congenital malaria can be prevented by using intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in pregnancy with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (IPTp-SP). IPTp-SP is a full therapeutic course of antimalarial medicine administered during pregnancy as a component of antenatal care. This study’s objective was to assess the prevalence and predictors of IPTp-SP uptake in pregnancy in Sierra Leone. This study was based on the fifth round of the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS 5) conducted in Sierra Leone in 2016. Participants were 8526 women aged between 15–49 years. Outcome variables were uptake of IPTp-SP during the last pregnancy. Data were analysed using cross-tabulation and logistic regression methods. Results showed that the prevalence of taking IPTp-SP was 94.81% (92.40, 96.14), and that the prevalence of taking at least three doses was 93.24% (92.50, 94.81). In the multivariate logistic regression, education, parity, and antenatal care (ANC) use were significant predictors of IPTp-SP uptake. Women with higher education had lower odds of taking IPTp-SP (Odds Ratio = 0.647, 95%CI = 0.444, 0.943); having higher parity (>4) was associated with lower odds of taking IPTp-SP (OR = 0.663; 95%CI = 0.442, 0.994) and adequate ANC use increased the odds of taking IPTp-SP in both urban (OR = 1.450, 95%CI = 1.158, 3.128) and rural areas (OR = 1.903, 95%CI = 1.069, 1.966). In contrast, the positive association between ANC visits and adequate doses of taking IPTp-SP was true for rural women only (OR = 1.408, 95%CI = 1.174, 1.689). In conclusion, the use of IPTp-SP is close to being universal, with the prevalence being relatively higher in the rural areas. Based on our findings, promoting adequate antenatal care visits should be regarded as a key strategy to improve the use of IPTp-SP in Sierra Leone. Further studies could focus on exploring other predictors of IPTp-SP uptake that are not captured by MICS in Sierra Leone.
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