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World Malaria Day 2018: Abt Global is #ReadytoBeatMalaria

Since 2000, the world has made historic progress in the battle against malaria, cutting related deaths and illness significantly. While the number of malaria cases has fallen globally since 2010, cases of malaria increased by 5 million in 2016, and the estimated number of malaria deaths remains substantially high at 455,000. That’s why, this year, Abt is observing World Malaria Day by committing to eliminating malaria.

Turbocharging the Global Malaria Response

Sub-Saharan Africa still disproportionately suffers the majority of these malaria cases, with 15 countries accounting for 80 percent of the global burden. With malaria mitigation operations in 23 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Cambodia, Abt has already enacted our plan to end malaria. Through our flagship vector-control program--the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) VectorLink project—we equip communities to plan and implement safe and sustainable, life-saving vector control interventions to reduce the burden of malaria.

Under the program’s precursor—the PMI Africa Indoor Residual Spraying (AIRS) project—Abt protected approximately 13 million people a year from 2012 through 2017. PMI VectorLink builds on this success by growing the capacity of local governments to use epidemiological, entomological and coverage data to deploy tools tailored to each country’s needs.

Our approach includes promoting gender equality in every aspect of planning and implementation. Pregnant women are at higher risk of contracting malaria, and malaria remains the number one killer of children and infants globally—taking the life of a child every 2 minutes. We recognize that tailoring malaria prevention programs to these groups is essential.

The Latest Weapons in Our War Against Malaria

PMI VectorLink recently piloted the new WHO-recommended insecticide, Sumishield, in Tanzania. This is the first new insecticide recommended for use in public health in 40 years. We conducted a successful spray campaign using Sumishield from January to March 2018 and, as a result, protected 175,116 people’s homes from malaria in the Mara region of Tanzania.

However, because insecticide resistance threatens gains in malaria eradication, research is an integral part of VectorLink’s solutions. By furthering our understanding of mosquitoes’ density, feeding time, location, and resistance to insecticides, we can gain a better understanding of which insecticides will be more effective when. Employing entomology and surveillance to make evidence-based decisions in our Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) programs enables us to more effectively target mosquitoes in their resting habitats.

With these strategies and our extensive experience, we’re ready to end malaria for good.

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