PMI Impact Malaria

D.R. Congo



PMI Impact Malaria in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

PMI Impact Malaria (IM) is the flagship global service delivery project of the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI). To fight malaria and save lives, IM is supporting the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) national malaria control program (NMCP) in its efforts to strengthen malaria service delivery.

In 2018, IM began working with the DRC's NMCP and National Institute for Biomedical Research (IRNB) to improve malaria case management at the public facility level, with an emphasis on improving the quality of malaria diagnosis and protecting those most at risk—particularly young children and pregnant women.

To advance malaria service delivery in the DRC, IM focuses mainly on strengthening health worker competence and bolstering national diagnostic capacity.


Malaria Country Context

In the DRC, approximately 97% of the population lives in zones with stable malaria transmission lasting 8 to 12 months per year, with the highest levels of transmission occurring in zones situated in the north and center of the country. The malaria parasite species Plasmodium falciparum causes the majority of infections.

The burden of malaria in the DRC is a major health problem. Malaria is the principal cause of illness and death in the country, accounting for 44% of all outpatient visits and 22% of deaths, while only about 30% of the population has access to health services.

In 2018, the national health information system reported about 15 million confirmed cases of malaria, compared to a WHO estimate of 25 million cases. During this same time, the DRC reported 27,000 deaths due to malaria while the WHO estimate was 46,800 malaria deaths.


This is PMI Impact Malaria’s geographic coverage in the DRC:

PMI Impact Malaria has supported the DRC’s NMCP in achieving these key accomplishments:

  • Trained more than 100 professionals in malaria microscopy, with average pre- and post-test scores increasing from 69% to 81% for parasite detection and from 17% to 43% for parasite counting.
  • Conducted a training of trainers to create a pool of 13 national trainers for refresher trainings in malaria diagnosis.
  • Implemented a new approach of supportive supervision at the facility level with standard automated checklists, called OTSS+, that focuses on continuous improvement of the competencies of health providers in case management, MIP, and diagnostics. So far, 109 health facilities have benefitted from OTSS+ with the aim of improving malaria microscopy competence in parasite detection to greater than 90% at the facility level. Among the facilities visited, 81% met the minimum competence standard required for parasite detection.


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Photo Credit: PMI, DRC

Sources: PMI’s DRC Country Brief, PMI’s DRC Malaria Operational Plan FY 2020, 2019 World Malaria Report DRC Country Profile, PMI Impact Malaria DRC, and DRC’s NMCP