Defeating Malaria in Africa

Abt Associates

3. Good Health and Well-Being 5. Gender Equality 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth

Overview

Abt Associates is a for-profit organization whose mission is to create solutions for social impact and address the world's most pressing issues. They have the PMI Vector Link project that fights the prevention of Malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa. The innovation is executing campaigns of indoor residual spraying which ensures healthy lives and promotes well-being for all. It helps fight and prevent malaria. The campaign of indoor residual spraying focuses on SDG #3 of healthy lives and promoting well being for all.

Author

Diego Denys

Diego Denys

School

Universidad de Navarra

Universidad de Navarra

Professor

Isabel Rodriguez Tejedo

Isabel Rodriguez Tejedo

Innovation

The PMI Vector Link project started 2017/2018 in Zimbabwe implemented in a five-year contract with the US agency for International Development. Miriam Mokuena who is the POM (Project Operations Manager) told me about their work in Sub-Saharan Africa especially in Zimbabwe. The innovation is campaigns of residual indoor spray throughout affected communities. The campaigns of indoor residual spraying contribute to improving public health and help fight malaria. They want future generations to not have to struggle as they are right now and have for many years. The main goal of the innovation is to prevent malaria in damaged communities and to one day free Zimbabwe of the disease. These campaigns confirm wellbeing for everyone’s lives and it helps all ages affected by Malaria. The campaigns contribute to ensuring the completion of the SDG #3 of well being for all.

The innovative solution is that they strive to make the process more efficient and more cost effective. They are constantly incorporating new technology like the use of smartphones to track the progress and record the spray data, so they can review the different spray-operators performance. Also, to evaluate the environmental compliance procedures since it was something that was not done before in the previous project. For that they attend conferences and are hiring qualified staff. The staff is involved in research of entomology doing different studies to determine which is the most effective insecticide to use. This study benefits the innovation on being more effective in the use of it. On the social impact they involve women not just because it is the popular thing to do, but because it’s an effective way for women and their families to improve their economic situation. With helping the women, they are also contributing to the SDG #5 of gender equality. As said before, they help the families to improve their current way of living.

Defeating Malaria in Africa

Women fighting malaria during a spray campaign

Inspiration

The inspiration for this innovation comes from a follow up project that the US Agency for International Development and the president of Malaria Initiative created for expanding the reach of the government. Abt’s goal is to commit to sustainable development by helping and taking interest in the countries who suffer from Malaria. As well as to help as many lives as possible; that is why they created projects like this to help the well-being of affected communities. They are a company devoted to helping many people and this is one of the many projects they have that aligns with the sustainable development goal #3. With funds from USAID, they are able to buy the insecticides to provide a more efficient indoor residual spraying campaign to prevent malaria. The project’s goal is to stop or prevent malaria from terrorizing the poor communities that fight against it for generations in Zimbabwe. Abt helps by using their innovation and preventing the expansion of the sickness. They hope to one day free Zimbabwe from this terrible disease that has killed so many people.

Overall impact

Abt’s work has had a positive impact on the communities affected by this disease. The reduction and prevention of malaria is their goal to ensure improvement in public health for people affected while ensuring no danger for their environment as well. Miriam believes that their work has had a positive outcome although there is always room for improvement in making the spray campaigns more effective.

The impact on public safety in the affected communities has been huge since they are insuring the protection not only for them but also of future generations who will live there. For the short-term effect the innovation of the project has provided an unharmed environment for them to live in. This provides a secure way for the people to work in a more reliable environment so they can do their jobs and daily routines without being worried about getting sick and potentially die from malaria. For the long-term effects they are providing a safe environment for their children to grow and have a healthy childhood. The evidence shows that almost 500,000 people are safeguarded with one spray campaign so this impact is occurring with each campaign.

Business benefit

The PMI Vector Link has provided large benefits to Abt Associates because with this project has become one of the biggest if not the biggest international project they have. They were able to create hundreds of job opportunities for people in the communities as well as for international participants who are able to learn from a different culture and live in a different environment. It has created more than 3,000 jobs for people ensuring their own wellbeing by making them take health related tests as well as taking the medicine according to their level of exposure. The indoor residual campaign has been able to cover 85% of the homes in the different districts, so they actually have exceeded their goal of the previous spray campaign. They have achieved progress in spraying more houses than previous years and found more homes to help. From the sponsor USAID they are expanding and reaching more people to help preventing Malaria. With these the agencies they can reach more countries in Africa as well as some countries in South America. Anything done to prevent one of the more deadly diseases in Africa is considered a success. It is the only project that implements IRS so they are opening new investment opportunities to open new projects in the damaged countries proving their work is helpful and working for the people. Because the business is implementing new insecticides and new methods for the spray campaign, these good things have happened ensuring and improving public health for the endangered communities.

Social and environmental benefit

This innovation has benefited society in many ways. Since it is helping with each spraying campaign the safety of the people who are endangered of being sick with malaria and potentially dying. Also improving the local economy by generating new jobs and being a positive investment on the part of the government as they are looking out for communities in need. They are also improving their methods for doing the job and making their services available for implementing new projects and helping other countries. Although their work is not finished, they have contributed to a lot of the communities by also generating equal jobs for everyone at the local sites as well as bringing capable international staff. This creates a diverse work force including women in management positions helping them and their families to get a stable and well paid job.

For the environment they have helped to improve the methods that the old projects and past governments used. The past method and insecticide is called DDT and during the 70’s it was used to fight malaria. Although it was proven that this method harmed the environment and the ecosystems. It was said that it damaged the soon to hatch eggs killing them and killing and infecting the insects that many animals eat. So, it created a chain of destruction for many animals whose prey was infected. These actions destroyed many ecosystems and proved that the method was not efficient nor helpful for the environment.

Interview

Miriam Mokuena, POM (Project Operations Manager)

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Abt Associates

Abt Associates

Washington D.C., Mashona Land East, Worldwide

Business Website: https://abtassociates.com

Year Founded: 1965

Number of Employees: 1001 to 5000

Abt Associates is a research consulting firm founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts . They are a business focused on social impact who addresses the world's most pressing issues. They have many projects worldwide which vary on the topic they focus on. The issues are: economic, environmental, welfare, weather disasters, agricultural, or HIV and AIDS. Abt focuses as well on: education, gender equality, social inclusion, governance, and housing. Their work may differ on the topic they are focusing on, but they are helping those in need through their work.