Malaria is endemic in Sierra Leone, with stable and perennial transmission in all parts of the country. The entire populace is at risk of the disease. It is estimated that about 2,240,000 outpatient visits are due to malaria every year, of which about 1,000,000 patients are under 5 years old. Pregnant women and children under 5 years old constitute 4.4% and 17.7% of the total population, respectively, and are the most vulnerable groups.
The PMI VectorLink Project will conduct entomological monitoring activities in four sentinel sites selected in consultation with the NMCP. Western Area Rural district will represent the coastal areas of the country; Bo, which is the second-largest district in the country, will represent the South; Bombali, where the future insectary will be established, will represent the North; and Kono district, where there is large-scale mining activity, will represent the Eastern part of the country.
Monthly entomological data will be collected in the four sentinel sites, with involvement of technicians from the District Health Management team, who will be trained by the project entomologist. Collections will aim to determine species composition, density, behavior, parity, source of blood meal, and sporozoite infection rates of malaria vectors in the areas. Monitoring will be conducted once a month for 12 months using three collection methods: pyrethrum spray catches, CDC light traps, and human landing catches. Additionally, insecticide susceptibility tests and intensity assays will be carried out in all sentinel sites once in a year.