Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) is part of the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative’s (PMI) strategy to reduce malaria rates, and it constitutes about 25 percent of their spending in Senegal. Peace Corps is now working with PMI to help ensure that those dollars are well-spent. One of Senegal’s PMI Resident Advisors, Julie Thwing, has teamed up with Peace Corps and a local parasite laboratory, Service Lutte Anti-Parasite (SLAP), in the city of Thies to train volunteers on entomology research techniques. In June 2013, 14 PCVs participated in a three-day training to learn how to identify the presence and prevalence of malaria vectors–female anopheles mosquitos–around Senegal. Volunteer trainees will collect active feeding mosquitos in sleeping spaces around their host communities and report back to PMI. This will help build up a body of data on mosquito populations so that IRS strategies can be well-informed.
These trainings are the start of many more opportunities, and are happening in conjunction with other malaria-focused research initiatives that involve PCVs. We’re excited to be a part of this research and look forward to future work.!