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.
In its first year of implementation, the PMI VectorLink project in Sierra Leone supported the NMCP by establishing a functional insectary in Makeni (Bombali District) and making a susceptible Kisumu strain of Anopheles gambiae available in Sierra Leone for the first time. VectorLink also supported the monitoring of the vector bionomics, providing information on vector density, distribution, and behaviors. The susceptibility of An. gambiae s.l. to the insecticides used in public health was assessed and provided technical assistance for the development of the Insecticide Resistance Monitoring and Management Plan (IRMMP), which is currently under review. Based on the findings from the insecticide resistance monitoring, VectorLink Sierra Leone provided technical guidance to the NMCP. The information will help NMCP to select the most appropriate LLIN for the 2020 mass campaign. In its second year of implementation, the project will continue to provide technical and financial assistance to the NMCP to monitor malaria vector bionomics and insecticide resistance.
The PMI VectorLink Project will continue to support the NMCP to assess the susceptibility of An. gambiae s.l., and to conduct comprehensive vector bionomic monitoring in 12 sentinel sites in four districts. 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. In Year 1, VectorLink Sierra Leone implemented entomological monitoring activities that include collecting data on vector bionomics, insecticide resistance and establishing and maintenance of an insectary. In Year 2, VectorLink Sierra Leone will continue entomological monitoring activities in selected and representative sentinel sites and provide support to LLIN distribution.