22 November 2016

Africa: The Kite Patch - Fighting Malaria

A sticker patch could be the next step in malaria prevention in Africa. It is being developed in California by Olfactor Laboratories. People wearing the patch became invisible to mosquitoes, said the company, and could be guarded against bites for up to 48 hours.

Called the Kite Patch, it uses safe chemicals that stop mosquitoes from detecting the carbon dioxide humans breathe out, which the insects use to track people.

"Our goal is to be ready to ship Kite Patch in Q1 2017," reads the campaign page on the crowdfunding website, Indiegogo.

"When you wear Kite, the product makes you practically invisible to mosquitoes," said chief researcher Dr Michelle Brown in a video. "And we've been able to accomplish this using food-grade FDA approved compounds, removing the need to use toxic and dangerous chemicals that are currently found in today's products."

Brown said science was integral to fighting malaria, but there was no silver bullet. "However, we are confident that our work to make humans invisible to mosquitoes will be transformational in the broader war against mosquito-borne diseases."

Funding and field study

The project was co-funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and money was raised using the crowdfunding methods on Indiegogo.

Innovative @KitePatch blocks a mosquito's ability to sense humans. Interesting approach in fight against #malaria: http://t.co/mNMXSgrnTy

— Bill Gates (@BillGates) August 26, 2013

Source: Biz News and SouthAfrica.info reporter

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