The mosquito is the enemy injecting each person it feeds from with the Malaria parasite. A vacine is on the way but it will be many years before it can be declared effective and safe so how can we fight back in the mean time?
Mosquito nets have been the frontline weapon of choice but we are not getting enough out there and there is no guarantee they are being used correctly if at all. Insecticide spraying is also effective but very rarely is used in the more rural areas like Zambia. There are also insect repellents that are proven to be highly effective. Research done by the University of Minho Portugal has led to a manufacturing technique allowing us to incorporate a safe and approved insect repellent into clothing with an important twist. This type of repellent is used in patches that are very effective, they make the wearer invisible to the mosquito. The downside is these patches are only good for a maximum of 48 hours. The solution applied to the Minho clothing is permanent. Regardless how often the garment is worn or washed the repellent effect is always strong. The final product will be colourful T shirts incorporating the highly effective insect repellent solution. Perfect for kids to wear and share.
Business man Graham Lea has brought together this research and development, and a manufacturer who specialise in bio-functional clothing. The Butterfly Tree charity who work with children on the front line in Africa will provide the distribution to at risk children in Africa. Like all projects of this nature there is the issue of how to fund it.
All the charities and organisations working around the world fighting Malaria agree this type of new innovation and approach is crucial and will give a strong boost to the fight. It adds another weapon in the armoury and works in conjunction with mosquito nets and all the other techniques applied in reducing the disease. The downside is the funds available are earmarked and being used on the current tactics and products. The funding has to come from a new source. The rise in crowd funding platforms seen in recent years has been great with many deserving and inspirational campaigns achieving great things.
Graham set about building a campaign using the world leading crowd funding website indiegogo.com. The campaign went live very recently and now the hard push to promote the campaign begins. if successful the campaign can be repeated and the project will be able to make a serious contribution in fighting this awful disease.