PMI VectorLink: Continuing to Reduce the Burden of Malaria around the World
- Malaria caused an estimated 627,000 deaths in 2020, and millions more fell sick from the disease.
- Indoor residual spraying, combined with entomological monitoring can reduce the number of malaria-transmitting mosquitoes.
- PMI VectorLink protected more than 35 million people from malaria in 2021.
In 2020, the World Health Organization estimates malaria killed 627,000 people around the world, an increase of 12 percent over the prior year. Many of the additional deaths were due to service disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The WHO also estimates that 241 million people fell sick from the disease, with young children and pregnant women among the most vulnerable.
Prior to the pandemic’s onset, there had been major reductions in morbidity and mortality from malaria over the previous decade, gains primarily due to investments in vector control interventions by the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), the Global Fund, and country governments.
Since 2006, PMI has protected millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa from malaria through indoor residual spraying (IRS), which sprays insecticide on walls, ceilings, and other indoor resting places to kill mosquitoes that transmit malaria. Abt Associates has contributed to this by leading the Africa Indoor Residual Spraying (AIRS) and PMI AIRS projects.
In September 2017, the U.S. continued its commitment to tackling this deadly disease, launching the five-year PMI VectorLink Project, which Abt, joined by partners, also leads. Working in 24 countries in Africa as well as Cambodia and Colombia, the PMI VectorLink Project conducts robust entomological monitoring and equips countries to plan and implement IRS programs and other proven, life-saving malaria vector control interventions, including insecticide-treated nets (ITNs).
PMI VectorLink Project implements safe, cost-effective, and sustainable vector control interventions while promoting gender equity in all facets of planning and implementation. The project also is building the capacity of country governments to use epidemiological, entomological, and coverage data to support the optimal deployment of vector control tools based on each country’s context and needs.
The project’s data and experience with new and existing vector control tools informs global malaria best practices, guidelines, and policies. Through evidence-based practices, the project implements and supports social behavior change communication and mobilization activities to increase acceptance of vector control interventions.
PMI VectorLink project partners include Population Services International and PATH. VectorLink also receives support from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Malaria Consortium, Innovative Vector Control Consortium, McKinsey & Company, Inc., EnCompass LLC, BAO Systems LLC, and Dimagi, Inc.
PMI VectorLink protected over 35 million people from malaria in 2021, including 3.4 million children under age 5. The project also trained 33,086 people to deliver IRS.