Stepping Up, Cleaning Up

Zambia’s Mansa District Provides Funding, Infrastructure to Ensure Safe and Timely IRS Operations

Malaria continues to be a major cause of morbidity and mortality in Zambia. In partnership with the Government of Zambia, the President’s Malaria Initiative through the Africa Indoor Residual Spraying (AIRS) Project is working to combat this deadly disease. The Government has prioritized IRS interventions in targeted districts where incidences of malaria are high. For IRS to be carried out safely and effectively, basic infrastructure is needed.

In 2014, following an inspection from the AIRS Zambia project team, Mansa District in the northeastern province of Luapula was found to be lacking the infrastructure needed to safely implement IRS. Although the district community medical office (DCMO) had rented space for storing insecticides and IRS operations from the Mansa Municipal Council for the past five years, it was located far from the DCMO building, not well-secured and did not comply with the standard health and environmental safety regulations required for operating an IRS site.

The AIRS Zambia project team advised the DCMO to seek an alternative secure site. This requirement put at risk the entire spray campaign that the district was planning for 2014 due to lack of resources to refurbish the site.


zambia storage

Mansa District contributed funding and in kind contributions to ensure safe, secure and adequate storage facilities and washing areas for IRS operations. Photos: AIRS Zambia

zambia washing

Through advocacy and realigning funding needs, the DCMO managed to secure district land for a new operational site and contribute ZMW 8,550 – 38% of the total cost. The district authorities also provided a structure for storage. AIRS Zambia contributed an additional ZMW 30,913. Together, the DCMO and AIRS Zambia established a high standard operational site in time for the commencement of the spray operations in late 2014. The new site now has a refurbished store for IRS insecticides, a wash bay for cleaning pumps, a soak pit, change rooms, and a bathing shelter for spray operators.

This joint effort enhanced the quality of the IRS operations in the district as the new store was well-secured and within close proximity to the District Health Office. The new cleaning areas also significantly reduced health and environmental risks for the sprayers and the area.

Steven Ngoyi, IRS Manager for Mansa District, said, “Now we have our own facility and we do not have to worry about renting anymore.”