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PMI AIRS: Protecting People from Malaria


  • An estimated 3.2 billion people were at risk of malaria
  • Abt conducted rigorous entomological monitoring and evaluated insecticide spraying
  • The project protected on average 13 million people a year
The Challenge

In 2015, 95 countries and territories had ongoing malaria transmission, and an estimated 3.2 billion people–nearly half the world’s population–were at risk of malaria, and the risk was severe. An estimated 214 million cases of malaria worldwide caused an estimated 438,000 deaths, with about 90 percent of them in Africa.

The Approach

The Malaria Initiative Africa Indoor Residual Spraying (PMI AIRS) project managed indoor residual spraying operations and logistics in 12 endemic countries and provided enhanced entomological monitoring in five African countries. The project identified operations sites, bought insecticide and equipment, managed warehouses, and trained thousands of local staff to spray homes and follow environmental and health guidelines. PMI AIRS conducted rigorous entomological monitoring, monitored and evaluated performance, and promoted gender equality and female empowerment.

The Results

PMI AIRS developed several tools and innovations such as supervision checklists, a smartphone environmental assessment, mobile mosquito laboratories, and a community-based IRS pilot to make IRS a more cost-effective and sustainable malaria intervention. The project protected on average 13 million people a year, helped reduce malaria incidence in Africa between 2000 and 2015 by 42 percent and mortality by 66 percent, including a 71 percent decline in under-5 deaths.