IRS is one of the key malaria control strategies of the Ministry of Health (MOH)’s Zambian National Malaria Elimination Program (NMEP), which provides technical guidance, leadership, and coordination of malaria control and prevention activities in Zambia.
In 2017, the government officially launched the National Malaria Elimination Strategic Plan (NMESP) 2017-2021, which aims to graduate Zambia from striving for malaria control to malaria elimination. In line with the guidelines included in the NMESP, the approach changed from the historic targeting of 50-60% of structures per district in 2017 to target 80% of the population per district across the country. In the same year, PMI continued IRS in the same 36 high-burden districts across Eastern, Luapula, Muchinga, and Northern Provinces and sprayed 634,410 structures out of 676,188 structures found. In 2018, PMI VectorLink, together with Zambia’s National Malaria Elimination Program (NMEP), supported IRS in Northern, Luapula, and Muchinga provinces and three pre-elimination districts (Chadiza, Katete, and Sinda) in Eastern Province. In 2018, VectorLink sprayed 579,490 structures out of 644,677 structures found. In 2019, VectorLink conducted IRS in 20 districts, targeting 597,625 structures using a clothianidin-based insecticide from October 2 to November 30, 2019. A total of 536,983 structures were sprayed out of 598,732 structures found by spray operators in the targeted districts, accounting for a coverage rate of 90%.
In Year 3, the PMI VectorLink Zambia project will work with the NMEP, provinces, and districts to spray 639,536 targeted structures in 15 districts using a clothianidin-based insecticide. The project’s objective is to implement high-quality and safe IRS operations attaining a minimum coverage of 85 percent of the targeted structures found in each targeted community in the 15 districts. PMI VectorLink will not fund direct operational costs of the spray campaign in the seven urban Copperbelt districts that were sprayed in 2019, but will instead include Chiengi and Kawambwa, rural districts north and southeast of Nchelenge respectively, in Luapula province. The 15 districts include Lufwanyama, Mpongwe and Masaiti in Copperbelt Province, Nchelenge, Kawambwa and Chiengi in Luapula Province, and Katete, Sinda, Chadiza, Petauke, Chipata (5 pre-elimination districts), Vubwi, Nyimba, Lundazi, and Mambwe in Eastern Province. In addition to spraying, in Year 3, the project will carry out the following activities:
- Build capacity of IRS managers and master trainers in Copperbelt Province.
- Provide technical assistance to the NMEP and district health offices on management of DDT in former PMI-supported provinces.
- Use the Reveal tool to capture real time spray data in all targeted areas in Nchelenge and Chadiza districts.
- Conduct entomological monitoring activities in seven surveillance districts to assess the impact of IRS operations on standard PMI entomological indicators.
- Establish one satellite office in Nchelenge in addition to the already existing two to decentralize IRS planning activities to the districts and provide direct technical assistance to the districts of Nchelenge, Chiengi, and Kawambwa.
- Assist NMEP in strengthening engagement with the private sector through public-private partnerships, especially with selected mining companies on the Copperbelt.
- Prepare a new nationwide supplemental environmental assessment (SEA) for 2020-2025 in view of expiration of the current SEA in November 2019.
- Support the NMEP to plan and implement the 2020 national ITN mass campaign.
- Provide targeted subnational-level technical assistance for implementing the ITN mass campaign in the PMI-supported provinces of Luapula, Northern, Muchinga, and Eastern in 2020 and 2021.
- Support NMEP to implement an assessment of ITN repurposing and misuse by communities in Luapula, Northern, and Muchinga Provinces.
- Through the PATH-led integrated data analytics activity, provide technical assistance to the NMEP Vector Control Unit for visualization development and data review to support vector control decision-making.