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Smelly socks could be a key to preventing malaria deaths in the developing world
Date:7/12/2011

Grand Challenges Canada announces a grant today to support further development of a new innovative device to attract and kill mosquitoes that can transmit malaria.

Developed by Dr. Fredros Okumu (Ifakara Health Institute, Tanzania), the device is placed outside the home and is the outdoor complement to bed nets and sprays which protect people from infection in their homes.

"Despite global progress in the fight against malaria, there is still work to be done," said Dr. Fredros Okumu, Ifakara Health Institute. "Malaria has claimed so many lives, including those of people close to me, and my hope is that this innovative device will be part of the solution."

The scientific team at Ifakara Health Institute has learned that the most effective way to attract mosquitoes to the device is the odour of smelly socks or similar smelling synthetic bait developed at the Institute. Both the socks and the bait are highly effective and attract four times more mosquitoes than a human being does. Once the mosquitoes are in the device, they are trapped or poisoned and left to die.

"Each year, there are almost 250 million new cases of malaria; almost 800,000 people die, and most of those deaths are children," says Dr. Peter A. Singer, Chief Executive Officer of Grand Challenges Canada. "This local Tanzanian innovation could contribute significantly to accelerating the elimination of malaria and save lives. Grand Challenges Canada is pleased to support Dr. Okumu's important discovery and further optimize this device, test its potential for impact and if successful identify a path to further development and commercialization to ensure the device is available to communities at a low cost."

"Through a lifetime of hard lessons, I know that discovery is not enough," said Joseph L. Rotman, the philanthropist and businessman who Chairs Grand Challenges Canada's Board of Directors. "Discoveries also need to be implemented in the real worl
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Contact: Terry Collins
tc@tca.tc
416-538-8712
McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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