The adventure began in 2013. Nearly four years ago, Moctar Dembele and Gérard Niyoudiko announced the creation of a very special soap … These two students of the International Institute for Water Engineering and Of the environment in Burkina Faso have succeeded in developing a product repelling mosquito vectors of malaria, the Faso Soap.
Caused by parasites of the genus Plasmodium, this pathology constitutes a major public health issue throughout the world, especially in sub-Saharan Africa where 270 million people live without protection. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly one million malaria victims are reported every year.
While fighting mosquitoes has been a major effort to control the epidemic, over time, biting insects have increased in resistance: according to the Faso Soap site, “82% of the endemic countries surveyed indicated To WHO resistance of mosquitoes to at least one insecticide “.
An anti-mosquito soap
It is on the basis of this observation that the two men set out to design a new weapon against malaria: an anti-mosquito soap. Innovative, the Faso Soap is composed of microcapsules of substances naturally repulsive. These are developed to adhere to the skin of users and gradually release their content.
According to its designers, the soap could help to keep mosquitoes away several hours after use and help to halve the risk of contamination. “We are convinced that soap will be a new effective means of prevention, in addition to impregnated mosquito nets and the spraying of insecticides in homes,” they said.
Thanks to this soap designed to be at a lower cost, the project initiators hope to save at least 100,000 lives and distribute it “gradually to 30% of the population of the 6 countries most affected by malaria.” But almost 4 years after its conception, where is the project?
While “first tests have been encouraging”, further further investigations are still being carried out by the National Center for Research and Training on Malaria (CNRFP), located in Ouagadougou. In 2016, nearly 140 different trials allowed to discover “natural mixtures at the same time able to keep away 6 hours the mosquitoes Anopheles, healthy for the sensitive and affordable skins”.
The researchers estimate that this part of the research is advanced to 80%. The final formulation of the soap should soon see the light of day. So far, it has been announced that the mosquito repellent effect of the soap would extend for up to 6 hours after use on the skin. However, teams are working to make the solution work for as long as possible.
In order to “better know the habits of personal hygiene” and to develop a product of the most suitable, the researchers also carry out a study of about 1,000 people who volunteered. They turned to participants living in different conditions, in urban areas for some, peri-urban and rural for others. At 20% of its final objective, this part of the study seems to move slowly, but surely.
Finally, 15% is the percentage advanced by the section dealing with the supply and production of the famous soap. “Mastering the supply chain of raw materials is essential to ensure a significant production of anti-mosquito soaps. We are experimenting with the cultivation of repellent plants in West Africa in order to set up a sustainable local chain,” experts say.
A first prototype from 2018?
Despite the attractiveness of the project, Gérard Niyondiko and the other instigators of the project struggled to find funding and had to turn to participatory financing or crowdfunding in order to continue testing more and more expensive. A campaign that raised some 70,000 euros and advance the project.
The status of research is regularly updated on the official website. If the next steps take place as planned, the prototype of Faso soap could be released in April 2018 before launching a phase of homologation of this miracle product that could revolutionize the fight against malaria.
Source : GabonLibre