FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 22, 2006
Press Office: 202-712-4320
Public Information: 202-712-4810
WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), announced the awarding of a $150 million Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) contract to a consortium headed by Research Triangle Institute (RTI). Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) is the application of safe insecticides to the indoor walls and ceilings of a home or structure in order to interrupt the spread of malaria by killing mosquitoes that carry the malaria parasite. Malaria is the number one killer in Africa.
Through the new IRS contract, USAID will provide technical and financial support to the Ministries of Health and National Malaria Control Programs in 16 African countries. This contract will build country-level capacity for planning, training for spray operators and supervisors, and logistics, implementation and management support for IRS programs, including environmental assessments, safety procedures and compliance with environmental regulations. USAID adheres to strict environmental guidelines, approval processes, and procedures for the use of all World Health Organization-approved insecticides in its malaria control programs.
"Spraying homes and dwellings with small amounts of insecticide to kill or sometimes repel malaria-transmitting mosquitoes is a key tool to prevent malaria," said Admiral Tim Ziemer, coordinator, President's Malaria Initiative. "This tool, combined with other interventions, will save lives and prevent the spread of this debilitating disease."
This program represents a significant component of the President's Malaria Initiative (PMI) that focuses on proven prevention and treatment efforts that in addition to IRS include insecticide-treated mosquito nets and lifesaving drugs. The PMI's comprehensive malaria control program also includes diagnosis and treatment of malaria as well as presumptive treatment for malaria during pregnancy. Malaria is the leading cause of death and illness among children and pregnant women in many countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
The PMI is an interagency initiative led by USAID, with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as key partners. The goal of the PMI is to assist national malaria control programs to cut malaria-related deaths by 50 percent in 15 focus countries in Africa. This goal will be achieved by reaching 85 percent of the most vulnerable groups -- children under five years of age and pregnant women - with proven and effective prevention and treatment measures.
First and second round PMI focus countries are Angola, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda and Senegal. President Bush announced Benin, Ghana, Madagascar, Mali, Zambia, Kenya, Liberia, and Ethiopia as the final eight new focus countries at the White House Summit on Malaria December 14th.
USAID continues to work closely with other international partners and donors, including the World Bank Malaria Booster Program and the World Health Organization to ensure the expansion of IRS in Africa is safe, cost effective, and part of a comprehensive national program that will ensure a significant and lasting reduction of malaria.
For more information on USAID's malaria programs and its work with the President's Malaria Initiative, please go to http://www.usaid.gov/our_work/global_health/id/malaria/index.html