Malaria remains the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Burundi. In 2016, the number of malaria cases reached 8.3 million, out of a population of 11 million. The malaria epidemic is concentrated in the eastern, central, and northern parts of the country. The most important determinant of this situation is an increase in the number of vectors transmitting malaria. Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) is only conducted in a few selected districts and mosquito net utilization is low, at 24% pregnant women in key provinces (DHS 2016). The previous mass distribution of mosquito nets was in mid-2014. Since October 2017, following the mass distribution of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) funded by Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (GFATM) with support from USAID, malaria caseloads are 50% lower than 2016 and 22% lower than 2015. The monitoring of mosquito populations and behaviors are critical for evidence-based planning to control malaria in Burundi.
The PMI VectorLink Project in Burundi will focus on sustaining recent gains achieved under the PMI Africa Indoor Residual Spraying Project by continuing entomological monitoring activities in eight sentinel sites, and monitoring the field durability of ITNs, following the 2017 mass distribution.
Specifically, the project will:
- Provide technical assistance in entomology and vector control;
- Monitor changes in density, species composition, behavior, infectivity, and susceptibility to insecticides of malaria vectors;
- Maintain and equip facilities for entomological surveillance (insectary and entomology lab);
- Assess the physical durability of Olyset nets in four different locations in Burundi over a three-year period, and estimate median ITN survival;
- Describe major behavioral aspects of net care and repair and their impact on physical durability;
- Assess loss of ITN effectiveness associated with bio-efficacy using WHO cone tests;
- Assess factors associated with the loss of ITN bio-efficacy in household conditions in Burundi;
- Ensure human resource development and capacity building for both vector surveillance and ITN durability monitoring.