Of the estimated 20 million people who live in Niger, 94 percent are considered at risk for malaria infection. Malaria transmission is concentrated in the southern part of the country and occurs primarily during the rainy season, which runs from June to September. Although child and maternal deaths are declining, malaria remains the first cause of illness and death among these two vulnerable population groups. Pregnant women are four times more likely to suffer from the complications of malaria than non-pregnant women, and more than half (56 percent) of all deaths in health facilities are attributed to malaria.
According to Niger’s Annual Health Statistic Report (2016), there were over 3.3 million uncomplicated malaria cases, over 172,000 severe malaria cases, and 1,561 malaria deaths in 2016, putting it among the countries with the highest per capita rate of malaria fatalities globally1, 2.
The National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) has historically used intermittent preventative treatment of malaria in pregnancy, seasonal malaria chemoprevention, and vector control interventions such of insecticide-treated net (ITN) distribution as the main malaria prevention measures in Niger. In 2018, a comprehensive package of entomology monitoring and evaluation activities will be supported in order to establish baseline data, in anticipation of expanded insecticide-based vector control activities in the future.
Specifically, the PMI VectorLink Project will:
- Determine the susceptibility of the primary malaria vector An. gambiae s.l. to insecticides in nine sentinel sites selected by the NMCP;
- Measure the intensity of resistance to insecticides in the nine sentinel sites;
- Perform tests to understand mechanism of resistance;
- Monitor the density, species composition, behavior, and infectivity of malaria vectors in five sentinel districts spread across the three endemicity zones; and
- Build NMCP capacity to use entomological data for decision making.
The PMI VectorLink Project will also provide ITN technical support, including:
- Assessing the physical durability of mosquito nets distributed through the 2018 mass campaign at sites selected by the NMCP and PMI over a three-year period and estimate median ITN survival;
- Comparing ITN durability across the different sites and identify major determinants of field performance;
- Describing major behavioral aspects of net care and repair and their impact on physical durability;
- Assessing insecticide effectiveness through bio-assays over a three-year period;
- Reviewing existing and planned systems for continuous ITN distribution in Niger to determine to what extent continuous ITN distribution is implemented according to existing international and national guidelines and plans across at all levels and components (e.g. coordination, beneficiary registration, quantification, personnel) among each component outlined above; and
- Identifying improvements which can deliver immediate, mid-term and long-term efficiency gains in continuous ITN distribution in Niger
 Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, Global Burden of Disease 2016
 PMI Niger Malaria Operational Plan FY 2017