Malaria on the Retreat in Zambia: Community Sees Results from Indoor Residual Spraying

Apr 2009
Eunice and her family are among the estimated 3.6 million beneficiaries of the IRS program that PMI supported in 15 densely populated districts of Zambia in late 2007.
Eunice Mwachilele (left, rear), her children, and her dependents in Kanyama benefited from a PMI-supported IRS campaign. Source: Lizzie Peme and Melinda Ojermak/Health Services and Systems Program

Eunice Mwachilele of Kanyama compound in Lusaka heard about the IRS campaign from community workers who went door-to-door informing and motivating residents to support the spraying program. After she agreed to participate, her house was marked with a sticker signaling her consent. Some weeks later, a vehicle with loud speakers plied the narrow streets, informing residents to prepare for the spraying. “They told us to remove our household goods and food from the house and move our beds to the center of the room to allow spraying of the walls,” said Eunice. “We followed their instructions. They sprayed, and we remained outside for the given time before re-entering the house.”

Eunice and her family are among the estimated 3.6 million beneficiaries of the IRS program that PMI supported in 15 densely populated districts of Zambia in late 2007. After her four-room cinderblock house was sprayed in December 2007, Eunice commented, “We noticed since that day that any mosquito that lands on the wall dies.” Neither Eunice, her four children, nor her five dependents have suffered from malaria since the spraying. Eunice, who is also a community health worker, noted that even with unusually high rainfall during the 2007–2008 season, many fewer malaria cases occurred in her area than in the years before the spraying program began.

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