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PMI VectorLink: Continuing to Reduce the Burden of Malaria around the World


  • Malaria deaths are declining, but the disease still kills 400,000 people each year.
  • Indoor residual spraying, combined with entomological monitoring can reduce the number of malaria-transmitting mosquitoes.
  • Abt-led malaria programs have protected more than 20 million people from malaria in 2018.
The Challenge

The world has seen major reductions in morbidity and mortality from malaria in the past decade. The majority of these gains have happened in Africa and primarily are due to investments in vector control interventions by the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), the Global Fund, and country governments.

Still, malaria kills more than 400,000 people every year, and millions more fall sick from this vector-borne disease. Young children and pregnant women are among the most vulnerable.

The Approach

Since 2006, the PMI has protected millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa from malaria through indoor residual spraying (IRS), which kills the mosquitoes that transmit malaria by spraying insecticide on the walls, ceilings and other indoor resting places of those mosquitoes. Abt Associates has contributed to this by leading the PMI Africa Indoor Residual Spraying Project (AIRS) project.

In September 2017, the United States continued its commitment to tackling this deadly disease, launching the five-year PMI VectorLink Project, also led by Abt. Working across 24 countries in Africa, the PMI VectorLink Project conducts robust entomological monitoring and is equipping countries to plan and implement IRS programs and other proven, life-saving malaria vector control interventions, including insecticide-treated nets.

Specifically, the PMI VectorLink Project is implementing 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 within each country context.

The project’s data and experience with new and existing vector control tools will inform global malaria best practices, guidelines and policies. Through evidence-based practices, the project is implementing and supporting 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 is receiving 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.

The Results

PMI VectorLink protected more than 20 million people from malaria in 2018 and introduced innovative, community-driven approaches to conduct IRS. PMI VectorLink expects to continue these successes in additional countries.