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U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative Project Receives Digital Development Award
December 14, 2022

The U.S. Embassy in Zambia is pleased to announce the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) VectorLink Zambia Project as one of the winners of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) 2022 Digital Development Awards (the Digis). The U.S. government is working toward building a future where digital technology is utilized to promote inclusive growth, foster resilient and democratic societies, and empower everyone – including the most vulnerable and marginalized people.  The Digis are designed to recognize USAID Missions, Bureaus, and implementing partners who are using technology to help countries and communities work toward sustainable growth and resilience.

In 2020, malaria killed more than 600,000 people globally, with the disease burden worsened by shocks such as COVID-19, conflict, and climate change.  Programs targeting the mosquitoes which transmit the malaria parasite, such as the distribution of insecticide-treated nets and indoor residual spraying (IRS), are some of the best ways of reducing a country’s malaria burden.  However, the effectiveness of these campaigns rely on precise planning and real-time monitoring and evaluation of data at community levels.  To address this need, the PMI VectorLink Zambia Project developed and mobilized the digital tools necessary for Zambia to have quality, timely, secure, and accessible health information.

Implemented by Abt Associates and in partnership with Akros and the Zambian Ministry of Health, PMI VectorLink Zambia developed digital tools, including satellite imagery and digital micro planning maps, to guide and track the delivery of IRS at the household level to ensure that no communities or at-risk structures are missed.  The project has supported the Zambian National Malaria Elimination Programme to use and apply the data for decision-making in campaigns that target mosquitoes that transmit the malaria parasite and to build a culture around data use and technology.  Additionally, PMI VectorLink Zambia is supporting the Zambian Ministry of Health to integrate the project’s data files on IRS coverage into their routine data systems for expanded, long-term use of the data.