March 16, 2010

RTI International to Protect Against Malaria in Kenya

Media Contacts

Sprayer in malaria program
Malaria program, indoor spraying

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.—RTI International will continue protecting people in Kenya from malaria through its indoor residual spraying program with a new award from the United States Agency for International Development.

Indoor residual spraying is the spraying of an insecticide on inside walls to kill adult female mosquitoes before they can transmit malaria to another person.

RTI will work with local organizations to protect the homes of approximately 2 million people in Kenya from malaria over the course of the project's three years. In collaboration with Kenya's Division of Malaria Control, the project aims to spray 85 percent of houses in targeted geographic areas.

The nearly $25 million award is part of the U.S. President's Malaria Initiative that aims to reduce malaria-related mortality by 50 percent in 15 African countries over five years.

RTI has been working for more than a decade to prevent and control vector-borne diseases such as malaria. RTI began implementing indoor residual spraying activities in Kenya in 2008 and will now expand its support to the Division of Malaria Control to seven more districts.

"We will build on past experiences in the districts where we have had a presence and apply what we've learned to new districts to improve our work," said Josephat Shililu, who leads RTI's project in Kenya.

In 2009 alone, RTI's project team protected more than 1.4 million people and sprayed more than 500,000 structures in Kenya. Additionally, more than 2,500 people were trained on indoor residual spraying and community mobilization.

"The project will emphasize building local capacity and ownership of the program," Shililu said. "We will use a balanced and synchronized approach to transfer skills and knowledge to the government and local organizations to keep the activities sustainable."

The program ensures that all activities are conducted in an environmentally sound manner.