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Laurent Nkera

Chief of Party, PMI VectorLink Project, Sierra Leone

Laurent Nkera Iyikirenga is a biologist, entomologist, teacher, and public health professional with 22 years of experience working in vector control. He has contributed to the large-scale implementation of malaria control efforts that include increasing national capacities to collect, analyze, and use entomological data to inform malaria prevention and control programs. He has worked with malaria-control authorities in Rwanda, Burundi, Benin, and currently in Sierra Leone.

Under Iyikirenga’s leadership, the PMI VectorLink Benin program was among the first VectorLink projects to engage in indoor residual spraying (IRS) during the COVID-19 pandemic. The World Health Organization World Malaria Report 2020 recognized the project’s efforts.

Iyikirenga has used satellite imagery for detailed information on the location of hamlets and dwellings in areas targeted for IRS. The goal is achieving impact coverage and better targeting of areas at risk for malaria transmission.

To increase IRS awareness and acceptance, Iyikirenga and his team developed some information education communication and social and behavior change communication tools, including songs and a documentary about the risks of malaria and the effectiveness of IRS in preventing malaria.

Before his work on IRS, Iyikirenga served in higher education in Rwanda, particularly in building national capacity in environmental health. He conducted assessments of the environmental health situation in primary schools, prisons, and resettlement areas, with a focus on sanitation and gender issues.

He led the departments of hygiene and sanitation, then vector control at the Ministry of Health. He coordinated the preparation and the implementation of malaria vector control strategies and malaria epidemic preparedness and response.

He was led the division of research promotion at the Rwanda Ministry of Education and took part in the development of the primary, secondary, and university curricula and the textbooks. Iyikirenga speaks French, English, and Swahili.


  • Malaria vectors surveillance
  • Integrated disease vector management
  • Operational research on endemic vector-borne diseases
  • Health policy development
  • Development of teaching curricula
  • Project management

Key Projects:

  • VectorLink project, PMI/USAID
  • Africa Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS), USAID
  • Tulane University, LLC / Rwanda


  • Video: (IRS song)
  • Video:  (Anopheles mosquitoes: Flying Enemies)
  • Rock Yves Aïkpon, Gil Padonou, Fortuné Dagnon, Razaki Ossè, Aurore Ogouyemi Hounto, Filémon Tokponon, Gorgias Aïkpon, Laurent Iyikirenga and Martin Akogbéto, 2020 - Upsurge of malaria transmission after indoor residual spraying withdrawal in Atacora region in Benin, West Africa.
  • Albert Salako, Idelphonse Ahogni Casimir Kpanou, Roseric Azondekon, André Sominahouin, Arthur Sovi, Laurent Iyikirenga, Filémon Tokponnon, Virgile Gnanguenon, Fortune Dagnon, Martin C. Akogbeto, 2018 - Baseline entomologic data on malaria transmission in prelude to an Indoor Residual Spraying intervention in the regions of Alibori and Donga, Northern Benin, West Africa.
  • Albert SALAKO; Idelphonse Ahogni; Rock Aïkpon; Sidick Aboubakar; Fortuné Dagnon; Arthur Sovi; André Aimé Sominahouin; Fiacre Agossa; Laurent Iyikirenga; Martin C Akogbéto, 2018 - Insecticide resistance status, expression of the Kdr L1014F and G119S Ace-1R genes and of metabolic enzymes in Anopheles gambiae s.l. in two regions of northern Benin in preparation for an implementation of Indoor Residual Spraying (

Countries Served In:

  • Rwanda, Burundi, Benin, Sierra Leone
Laurent Nkera Iyikirenga