Malaria is the primary cause of morbidity and mortality in Mali, particularly among children under the age of five. While the entire population is at risk for malaria, internally displaced persons migrating from the north are especially vulnerable given their low immunity to infection. Due to the diversity of malaria transmission in Mali, the malaria control strategy emphasizes both universal coverage of key malaria interventions, as well as a specific epidemic and entomological surveillance, and targeted operational research.
PMI VectorLink Mali conducted IRS in four districts in Mopti Region (Bandiagara, Bankass, Djenné, and Mopti) in 2017 and 2018; the most recent malaria prevalence in that region was estimated at 25% compared with 19% nationally. In 2019–2021, PMI VectorLink led IRS in three of the four initial target districts in the region (Bandiagara, Djenné, and Mopti).
The 2021 IRS campaign took place in 19 geographically contiguous health areas (Aires de Santé) across the three districts. VectorLink Mali targeted a total of 65,105 structures in the three districts, and sprayed Fludora Fusion WP-SB in Bandiagara, SumiShield 50WG in Djenné, and Actellic 300CS in Mopti. From June 7 to August 11, 2021, the project sprayed a total of 61,791 structures out of 63,907 structures found by spray operators (SOPs) in the targeted areas, for a coverage rate of 96.7%. In 2021, the VectorLink Mali leadership team again used measures adopted in 2020 to mitigate risk of exposure to both security and COVID-19 challenges before, during, and after spray activities to ensure staff and beneficiary safety.
In year five (January 2022 – December 2022), the PMI VectorLink Mali project will work with the NMCP/MOH to spray 66,214 targeted structures in 19 geographically contiguous health areas out of the 76 total health areas in Bandiagara, Djenné, and Mopti districts, using Actellic 300CS, Fludora Fusion WP-SB, and SumiShield 50WG in the respective districts, in accordance with the national insecticide rotation strategy. The project’s primary objective is to reach a minimum spray coverage of 85% of the eligible structures in each district by implementing high-quality IRS operations, and to protect an estimated population of 260,803. More specifically, the IRS campaign aims to cover:
- 24,816 structures in Bandiagara, in seven targeted health areas (of 27 total),
- 27,387 structures in Djenné, in seven targeted health areas (of 22 total), and
- 14,011 structures in Mopti, in five targeted health areas (of 27 total).
In addition to spraying, in 2022, the project will carry out the following activities:
- Continue to engage NMCP/MOH-, regional-, district-, and local-level personnel in the planning, implementation, and supervision of IRS in the three districts and at the regional and central levels.
- Continue efforts to mainstream gender equality and female empowerment by increasing women’s participation in IRS activities. The project will continue to encourage health area selection committees to achieve the mandatory quota for representation of female seasonal workers defined by district (at least 30%), as well as to prioritize female workers for promotions into leadership roles.
- Coordinate community mobilization activities in collaboration with local authorities (village chiefs and neighborhood leaders) to systematically raise awareness and increase community acceptance of IRS.
- Conduct, in partnership with the NMCP/MOH and other stakeholders, high-quality entomological monitoring (insecticide resistance, wall bioassay, vector density, and behavioral studies) including the community-led surveillance approach, to help guide the country in its decision making about selecting appropriate insecticides and implementing effective insecticide rotational strategies in the event of subsequent IRS campaigns.
- Support NMCP to take ownership of specific, jointly determined entomological monitoring activities, with technical oversight from VectorLink, and provide material support to the VectorLink Mali project’s local technical partner to further enhance entomological capabilities among local stakeholders.
- Conduct robust monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of project activities, including real-time performance monitoring during the IRS campaign, to ensure alignment with set targets and objectives.
- Conduct IRS environmental inspections in close collaboration with the National Directorate for Sanitation and Pollution Control (Direction National de l’Assainissement, Contrôle de Pollution et de Nuisances, DNACPN)/Ministry of Environment (MOE).
- Evaluate the impact of Interceptor® G2 (IG2) ITNs in the Sikasso Region comparing districts that received IG2 ITNs with those that received standard pyrethroid ITNs.
- Continue to participate in the validation and implementation of the Integrated Vector Control Strategy in collaboration with the NMCP, MOH, World Health Organization (WHO), and other relevant stakeholders, and provide evidence and expertise influencing decisions around rotational strategies in IRS implementation as well as ITN use throughout Mali.
- Conduct activities and processes to ensure that the PMI Vectorlink Mali project, particularly aspects related to the end of IRS in the Mopti region, is formally ended.