A promising invention to fight malaria, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Malaria is transmitted through the bite of mosquitoes infected with the disease. Photo credit: Shutterstock / Mycteria

According to the WHO (World Health Organization) and its latest disease report, there were 229 million cases of malaria worldwide in 2019. 409,000 people died of malaria, including 274,000 children. Africa is the hardest hit area with 94% of the world’s cases.

This disease is transmitted through the bite of mosquitoes infected with the disease. To counter this scourge, which still affects too many people, a Dutch company is trying a large-scale experiment in Côte D’Ivoire. This invention, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, consists of a somewhat special ventilation tube. Presentation.

A mosquito net treated with insecticide

This invention, called Eave Tubes, is ultimately very simple … It is a pipe that replaces ventilation in households. But inside this pipe there is a mosquito net impregnated with insecticide. As a result, mosquitoes that carry the virus cannot enter houses and are killed by the insecticide.

Ventilation is installed under the eaves of the houses and mosquitoes cannot access any other way. This means that doors and windows must be closed. Mosquitoes can therefore only enter through this ventilation. This makes it possible to prevent them, but also not to spread chemical insecticides around the house.

Ventilation pipes in which there are mosquito nets impregnated with insecticide. Photo credit: The Lancet / Elsevier Ltd.

Promising initial results

After the test carried out in Côte d’Ivoire, the results published in The Lancet magazine show that they can significantly reduce the spread of this virus. 3,022 houses were able to install this protective pipe. This would have made it possible to reduce its prevalence by 74% in children who benefit from the device.

You should know that despite extensive research on the subject, there is still no vaccine against malaria. Malaria is currently prevented with medication and protective measures such as breathing tubes.