Community based IRS training. Photo Credit: Erin Schiavone

Community based IRS training. Photo Credit: Erin Schiavone













About two-thirds of the population is at risk of malaria in Ethiopia. Malaria remains the leading communicable disease seen at health facilities and is one of the top ten causes of in-patient deaths among children less than five years of age and adults.

In Ethiopia, malaria is generally a seasonal disease. Peak transmission period is from September and November following the rainy season. To increase the benefit of indoor residual spraying (IRS), AIRS completes spraying right before or during the rainy season aforetime malaria transmission peaks.

IRS in Ethiopia began in 1959 as part of the Global Malaria Eradication Program spearheaded by the World Health Organization. After the program ended in late 1960s, the Ethiopian government continued to independently fund IRS.

The President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) began supporting IRS in Ethiopia in 2008 focusing on Oromia Regional State, which is both the largest and, by many health indicators, the most underserved regional state. Currently, PMI’s support complements the National Strategic Plan for Malaria Prevention and Control (2011 – 2015). Through the Abt Associates-led AIRS project, PMI provides equipment and supplies to 24 government-sprayed districts and leads IRS implementation in 36 districts. This PMI contribution allows the Government of Ethiopia to channel its malaria funds to the areas where donor support is not present. PMI also supports national level capacity building effort through training on IRS and entomology.


Indoor Residual Spraying Areas

AiRS Ethiopia cropped










AIRS implements IRS in 36 districts in Oromia region. In addition, AIRS provides minimal technical and equipment supply assistance to 24 districts in the region that have graduated from full PMI support. AIRS does not include results data from these “graduated districts” in its totals.



IRS and other malaria control initiatives have made remarkable gains in the fight against malaria. The most recent Malaria Indicator Survey in 2011 showed that the prevalence of malaria parasitemia was approximately 1%. Oromia region had the lowest malaria prevalence compared to other Ethiopian regions. Since 2006, all-cause mortality rates for children under five in Ethiopia have decreased by 28%.

Historically, Ethiopia has experienced cycles of malaria epidemics every five to eight years, with the last nationwide epidemic in 2003. The apparent suppression of major malaria epidemics within the last decade is unprecedented in recent history, providing a hopeful sign that the nationally scaled up standard Roll Back Malaria interventions are having a favorable impact on malaria control and prevention in Ethiopia.

Read the Ethiopia PMI Country Profile to learn more.


AIRS Ethiopia IRS Results, 2012

  • Start date: Round 1 - June 15; Round 2 - August 14
  • Length of campaign: 40 days each round
  • Areas covered: Oromia
# Structures Sprayed547,421
Spray Coverage99%
Total Population Protected1,506,273
Children under 5 Protected225,875
Pregnant Women Protected23,309
# People Trained2,260

AIRS Ethiopia IRS Results, 2013

  • Start date: August 15
  • Length of campaign: 37 days
  • Areas covered:  36 districts in Oromia region
# Structures Sprayed635,528
Spray Coverage99.6%
Total Population Protected1,629,958
Children under 5 Protected240,558
Pregnant Women Protected25,211
# People Trained2,684

AIRS Ethiopia IRS Results, 2014

  • Start date: August 13
  • Length of campaign: 44 days
  • Areas covered: 36 districts in the Oromia region
# Structures Sprayed667,236
Spray Coverage99.5
Total Population Protected1,647,099
Children under 5 Protected230,862
Pregnant Women Protected23,919
# People Trained2,886

AIRS Ethiopia IRS Results, 2015

    # Structures Sprayed704,945
    Spray Coverage99.5%
    Total Population Protected1,655,997
    Children under 5 Protected230,366
    Pregnant Women Protected23,084
    # People Trained2,845

    AIRS Ethiopia IRS Results, 2016

      # Structures Sprayed715,541
      Spray Coverage99.7%
      Total Population Protected1,688,745
      Children under 5 Protected230,690
      Pregnant Women Protected23,011
      # People Trained2,749