VectorLink Tanzania supports the implementation of IRS in Mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar. It aims to move the country toward PMI’s goal of halving the burden of malaria in 70 percent of at-risk populations in sub-Saharan Africa. This is consistent with the 2020–2025 malaria strategy of the Mainland Tanzania NMCP. That strategy seeks to ensure that Tanzanians have access to good-quality, effective, safe, and affordable malaria interventions through timely and sustainable collaborative efforts with partners and stakeholders at all levels. VectorLink Tanzania also supports the Zanzibar Malaria Elimination Program (ZAMEP) in its work to achieve malaria elimination in Zanzibar by 2023.
In 2020, VectorLink Tanzania conducted IRS in six Mainland Tanzania districts (Kasulu, Kibondo, Kakonko, Biharamulo, Bukombe and Ukerewe), three United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees-managed refugee camps (Mtendeli in Kakonko, Nduta in Kibondo, and Nyarugusu in Kasulu), and selected shehias across 10 districts in Zanzibar, spraying a total of 598,973 structures and using clothianidin (SumiShield 50WG), clothianidin/deltamethrin (Fludora Fusion), and pirimiphos-methyl (Actellic 300CS) insecticides from November through December 2020 (Mainland) and in February 2021 (Zanzibar). The project achieved IRS coverage above the 85% threshold for both Mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar.
In year four (July 2021 – June 2022), PMI VectorLink Tanzania worked with the NMCP and the President’s Office-Regional Administration and Local Government in Tanzania Mainland, and regional administrations and local governments in these locations, to spray 568,484 targeted structures in the six districts in Mainland Tanzania and three refugee camps, achieving a spray coverage of 93%. The project worked with ZAMEP and offered technical assistance to respond to any emerging clusters of malaria cases, using the donated 5,409 SumiShield insecticide sachets, which are expected to cover 19,281 structures plus 20,000 structures supported by the Global Fund. The project used two insecticide products for the Mainland Tanzania IRS campaign: Sumishield 50WG (in Kagera and Geita) and Fludora Fusion (in Kigoma and Mwanza).
In compliance with project, PMI, and Government of Tanzania COVID-19 mitigation protocols, the project carried out the following activities:
- Conducted logistics assessment in all districts, and ensured timely procurement, shipping, delivery, and storage of IRS commodities.
- Strengthened the IRS logistics and warehousing system through enhanced forecasting of IRS needs, training, and supervision. The logistics team recruited qualified personnel and appropriately timed the two-phased IRS campaign to allow proper sorting of materials and their re-distribution to appropriate locations.
- Conducted Environmental Audit and Environmental Social and Impact Assessment in consultation with PMI and the National Environmental Management Council.
- Coordinated community mobilization activities in collaboration with stakeholders to raise awareness of IRS and to encourage beneficiary and stakeholder ownership. To enhance project ownership and achieve sustainability, the project will involve all leadership at the grassroots level, such as hamlet leaders that have been involved since the start of the project.
- Recruited IRS personnel including spray operators, mobilizers, team leaders, and supervisors, from the beneficiary communities in collaboration with district offices. The recruitment of spray operators from their communities brought a sense of ownership and played a big role in sensitizing the communities earmarked for spraying.
- Collaborated with other partners on information, education, and communication (IEC), especially with the social and behavior change (SBC) unit of the Ministry of Health, Health Promotion Section, NMCP, and ZAMEP, as well as the USAID Tulonge Afya activity, to ensure that targeted messages were designed and delivered to the beneficiaries of IRS.
- Mainstreamed gender equity, female empowerment, and inclusion by ensuring women’s participation in different project activities. The project emphasized a ratio of 1 male to 2 females during recruitment, which has been useful in moving toward a gender-balanced seasonal workforce.
- Advocated for greater involvement of refugees in IRS in their camps by employing them as site security, washers, water fetchers, and community mobilizers across all three refugee camps.
- Ensured safe and correct insecticide application, thus minimizing human and environmental exposure to IRS insecticides, in compliance with the Pesticide Evaluation Report and Safer Use Action Plan and Supplemental Environmental Assessment (SEA).
- Implemented full scale-up for VectorLink Collect mobile data collection in Mainland Tanzania.
- Used the KoboCollect application to document environmental compliance incidents and report on them during the campaign for timely follow-up.