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Principal Associate, PMI VectorLink Project, Ethiopia

Dereje Dengela is an epidemiologist and entomologist with more than 25 years of experience in planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of malaria control programs. He has extensive managerial experience, having supervised as many as 94 professionals. He has held senior positions with the government of Ethiopia, worked on projects for the U.S. Agency for International Development, and worked for the World Health Organization (WHO) as national malaria program officer in Ethiopia. While at the WHO, he supported the Ministry of Health of Ethiopia in mobilization of financial resources from donors, particularly the Global Fund. Dengela has authored or co-authored more than 30 publications in peer-reviewed journals.

Dengela currently spearheads the planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) VectorLink’s vector control and entomological monitoring activities in Ethiopia. He oversees the work of 42 staff. Under his leadership, PMI VectorLink Ethiopia produced the insecticide-resistance management plan and residual life data of the new Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) insecticide, clothianidin, which informed the national IRS insecticide policy. Dengela mobilized his team and quickly forged an adaptive management approach by changing the IRS model from district-based to community-based. He helped overcome serious security challenges and enabled the project to spray 604,921 structures and protect 1,618,765 people in 2021.

Dengela served as technical director for PMI Africa Indoor Residual Spraying and VectorLink projects. In this capacity, he designed entomological monitoring protocols and processes and developed standardized data collection tools. He led the development of several PMI VectorLink entomology standard operating procedures and a community based-entomology training curriculum. He led entomological monitoring capacity building efforts in 24 VectorLink African countries.  His innovative insectary-in-a-box resolves critical shortages of entomology infrastructure. He served as national malaria program officer with the WHO and as the PMI senior malaria advisor in Ethiopia. He played a key role in designing an entomological monitoring system and vector control for Ethiopia.


  • Entomology
  • Malaria epidemiology
  • Malaria and Zika vector control
  • USAID contract management
  • Statistical data analysis

Key Projects:

  • VectorLinks
  • Africa Indoor Residual Spraying
  • Indoor Residual Spraying (RTI International)
  • President’s Malaria Initiative


  • Dengela D, Seyoum A, Lucas B, Johns B., et al. Multi-country assessment of residual bio-efficacy of insecticides used for indoor residual spraying in malaria control on different surface types: results from program monitoring in 17 PMI/USAID-supported IRS countries. Parasites and Vectors 2018;11:71
  • Oxborough R, Seyoum A, Yihdego Y,……Dengela, D.  Susceptibility testing of Anopheles malaria vectors with the neonicotinoid insecticide clothianidin; results from 16 African countries, in preparation for indoor residual spraying with new insecticide formulations. Malaria Journal 2019; 18:264.
  • Rakotoson JD, Fornadel C,  Belemvire A, Norris L, George K, Caranci A, Lucas B, Dengela D. Insecticide resistance status of three malaria vectors, Anopheles gambiae (s.l.), An. funestus and An. mascarensis, from the south, central and east coasts of Madagascar. Parasites and Vectors 2017; 10:396.
  • Cisse M., Sangare D, Oxbrough R, Dico A, Dengela D, Sadou A, et al. A village level cluster-randomized entomological evaluation of combination long-lasting insecticidal nets containing pyrethroid plus PBO synergist in Southern Mali. Malaria journal 2017; 16:477
  • Yeebiyo Y, Dengela D, Tesfaye A, Anshebo G, Kolyada L.  et al. Short persistence of bendiocarb sprayed on pervious walls and its implication for the indoor residual spray program in Ethiopia. Parasites & Vectors 2016; 9:266.

Countries Served In:

  • Ethiopia, Latin America, Caribbean, and North America
Dereje Dengela