PATH's work in Senegal

Our work to reduce the burden of infectious diseases in Senegal

PATH in Senegal focuses on three main infectious diseases: malaria, seasonal influenza and HIV.

Our current projects are:

Malaria Control and Evaluation Partnership in Africa (MACEPA)

The Malaria Control and Evaluation Partnership in Africa (MACEPA), a program at PATH, began partnering with Senegal in 2009 to support the scale-up of its national malaria control activities. Senegal is one of seven countries to partner with MACEPA as part of a nine-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that is ending in December 2013. The other participating countries are Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zambia.

MACEPA provides Senegal with critical technical support and to date has supported the National Malaria Control Program in the development of the Malaria Program Review (MPR), the follow-on 2011–2015 National Malaria Strategic Plan (NSP), the successful submission of a Global Fund Round 10 application, and the initiation of a pilot malaria elimination strategy in the Richard Toll district.

With PATH’s support, the National Malaria Control Program was one of the first to develop a third-generation strategic plan, taking malaria control beyond scale-up and bednets toward universal coverage. During regional network meetings, MACEPA supported the Senegal team in reporting its experience to other country programs considering implementing the MPR/NSP modules, as well as partners developing MPR/NSP tools. MACEPA also facilitated the development of budgets, tracking of funding requirements, and obtaining of bridge funding for Senegal’s MPR/NSP process.

In 2011 with the support of the National Malaria Control Program and its partners’ working steering committee, MACEPA began to work in Richard Toll district to introduce and document activities to reach and demonstrate zero malaria transmission in the district.

Key activities included:

  • A baseline study of malaria in all health facilities of the district.
  • Development of a participatory action plan with all stakeholders from the central level, the regional management team in Saint-Louis, and the district level.
  • Surveillance strengthening with the rollout of weekly rapid reporting by all district health facilities using Java-enabled cell phones.
  • Universal coverage of long-lasting insecticide-treated bednets.
  • Advocacy visits paid to administrative and local authorities, the private sector, and community leaders to ensure their engagement.
  • Orientations and trainings of health workers on case investigation.
  • Investigation of confirmed cases.

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Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI)

The PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI) was established in 1999 through a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. MVI’s mission is to accelerate the development of malaria vaccines and catalyze timely access in endemic countries. Progress toward developing malaria vaccines has sped up in recent years. Increased funding and awareness coupled with advances in science and vaccine technologies have reinvigorated a field that had been constrained by the absence of a traditional market, few developers, and the technical complexity of developing a vaccine against a parasite.

MVI’s vaccine development portfolio is funded primarily by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the US Agency for International Development, and ExxonMobil. MVI has partnered with GlaxoSmithKline to support clinical development of a vaccine candidate, RTS,S, which is in the final stage of phase 3 field evaluation in 11 field sites in seven African countries (Burkina Faso, Gabon, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Kenya, and Tanzania).

With the renewed interest of the international community for malaria elimination, MVI’s malaria vaccine portfolio has expanded to include the development of malaria transmission-blocking vaccines. There currently is no candidate vaccine at this stage for field evaluation in endemic countries; however, the Senegal office is hosting a member of MVI’s research and development team to support field-site readiness.

More information

  • Access the Malaria Vaccine Initiative website

Trials of new influenza vaccines in tropical developing Africa

In a lighted office, with a man in the background doing paperwork at a desk, a health worker with a gloved hand administers an intranasal vaccine to a young girl, while her father, seated next to her, looks on

PATH at work in Niakhar region on seasonal flu vaccine. Photo: PATH/Fatou Kande

With funding through a cooperative agreement with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), PATH is leading trials of new influenza vaccines in Senegal to generate data for public health decision-makers in tropical developing Africa. This follows an original four-year funding from the CDC. Partners include the French Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) and the Institut Pasteur de Dakar (Senegal’s National Influenza Center).

The new agreement extends our work to evaluate the effectiveness of new influenza vaccines in tropical Africa and gain a better understanding of influenza disease patterns in this setting. The project is focusing on the evaluation of two new influenza vaccines: adjuvanted trivalent inactivated and live-attenuated trivalent.

Adjuvanted trivalent inactivated influenza vaccines have been found to elicit strong immune responses in young children and offer improved protection from clinical disease in temperate developed settings. Live-attenuated trivalent influenza vaccines have been found to offer strong protection in children in temperate developed settings, and they come with the added benefit of easy, needle-free administration. Partners at IRD are enrolling and following children in these studies through 2013.

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ARISE: Enhancing HIV prevention programs for at risk populations through evidence-based practices

As part of the Arise Program funded by the Canadian International Development Agency, PATH is working with the Laboratory of Bacteriology and Virology/Université Cheikh Anta Diop (LBV/UCAD) and Westat to implement an evidence-based HIV prevention community intervention program known as Community Peers Reaching Out and Modeling Intervention Strategies (Community PROMISE).

The program is targeting the female sex worker population to reduce the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) within the context of sex work in the Dakar region. LBV/UCAD is supported by PATH, Action of Women Against Aids (AWA), L‘Institute de Hygiène Sociale, Westat, and the University of Washington in the implementation and evaluation of the intervention.

The project employs behavior change and other strategies with female sex workers and their partners and promotes risk reduction in sex work establishments and bars. The interventions include the following:

  • Peer education.
  • Outreach to unregistered sex workers and their clients.
  • Comprehensive HIV prevention services (e.g., promotion of condom use and voluntary counseling and testing).
  • STI diagnosis and treatment for registered and unregistered female sex workers.

Implementation in Senegal began in early 2011. PATH’s role includes identifying promising, cost-effective HIV prevention projects, leading financial management of the projects, and establishing monitoring and evaluation strategies.

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