Working across 23 countries in sub-Saharan Africa as well as Cambodia, the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative’s (PMI) VectorLink Project is equipping countries to plan and implement safe, cost-effective and sustainable life-saving malaria vector control interventions with the overall goal of reducing the burden of malaria. Proven to reduce malaria illness, severe disease, and death due to malaria in endemic areas, long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs) protect people while they are sleeping from the bite of mosquitoes. LLINs maintain effective levels of insecticide to repel mosquitoes for approximately three years, even after repeated washing. PMI VectorLink supports ministries of health to achieve and maintain universal coverage of LLINs, delivered through all available channels. In some of the most remote areas of the world, PMI VectorLink is building capacity for evidence-based policy and decision-making, social and behavior change communication (SBCC), and monitoring and evaluation to increase LLIN access and ensure LLIN use. To date, PMI VectorLink has supported LLIN activities in 12 countries (Figure 1).
LLIN Distribution through Mass Campaigns
PMI VectorLink supports national malaria control programs and stakeholders to plan and execute all phases of mass LLIN distribution campaigns. From full-scale implementation to short-term technical assistance, the project strengthens coordination, planning, procurement, logistics, communication, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of mass campaigns. To do this, PMI VectorLink draws on resources developed by the Alliance for Malaria Prevention with inputs from global stakeholders.
LLIN Distribution through Continuous Channels
In line with recent evidence showing that repeated campaigns lead to ‘peaks and troughs’ of LLIN coverage, a renewed focus on complementary channels of continuous distribution is well placed.1 LLINs undergo physical, chemical, and other types of deterioration over time and new sleeping spaces are continuously generated through birth, marriage, and population movement. Continuous distribution is recognized as a critical and cost-effective component of maintaining high LLIN coverage.2
PMI VectorLink supports national malaria control programs to assess and strengthen existing distribution channels while also exploring new channels. Drawing on extensive implementation experience, the PMI VectorLink Project develops rigorous and participatory tools, such as the continuous distribution assessment tool, which was recently implemented in Burkina Faso, Niger, and Cameroon. The findings of these assessments informed the development of national continuous LLIN distribution guidelines in Niger and Cameroon. The project also uses and refines tools available at continuousdistribution.org to strengthen continuous LLIN distribution.
LLIN Durability Monitoring
PMI VectorLink supports durability monitoring of LLINs to provide in-country and global stakeholders with updated evidence on LLIN survivorship, physical durability, and insecticide effectiveness in the field. The project collects data on attrition, physical integrity, bio-efficacy, use, and care and repair behaviors of LLINs and triangulates with durability monitoring data of standard LLINs, piperonyl-butoxide (PBO) LLINs, and next generation LLINs to inform procurement and programmatic decisions and develop effective, evidence-based integrated vector management strategies. PMI VectorLink uses World Health Organization-endorsed LLIN durability monitoring resources, available at durabilitymonitoring.org.
Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC)
Where needed, PMI VectorLink partners with in-country stakeholders to support activities to assess the barriers and facilitators of vector control-related behaviors, lead or support the design of interventions to address the identified barriers and facilitators, and drive innovation in vector control-related SBCC activities. The project applies malaria SBCC global best practices and draws from resources developed by the Roll Back Malaria Partnership to End Malaria SBCC working group. Learn more at endmalaria.org.
For more information about the PMI VectorLink Project’s LLIN capacities or portfolio, please contact Mary Kante, Senior LLIN Technical Advisor, Population Services International, email@example.com.