Pilgrim Africa, a Seattle-based organization that works in Africa to alleviate the plight of refugees in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps, has partnered with ieCrowd, an incubator/accelerator of crowdsourced ventures, to launch a pilot project testing the Kite Mosquito Patch in Uganda. The Kite Patch is a radically new way of considering anti-malaria efforts; rather than the conventional methods of repelling mosquitoes, such as toxic sprays or topical solutions, the patch interferes with a mosquito’s carbon dioxide neurons, in a way that makes it non-topical, and spatial, blocking the primary method that mosquitoes use to track humans, our CO2.
The patch was developed by Olfactor Laboratories, Inc, and is being tested in Uganda by Pilgrim Africa as a pilot project to gather data to complete the manufacturing process and scale up production for commercial use. Uganda has a very high rate of malaria infection and resultant deaths, globally, so siting the pilot project there, with the help of Pilgrim Africa, a member of the Washington Global Health Alliance.
Using the Kite Patch is simple – the wearer places the patch on their clothes and becomes invisible to mosquitoes for up to 48 hours. Particularly in a place like Uganda where the choices are between toxic sprays and mosquito nets to protect people from the insects, this is a life-changing project.
The project was put on Indiegogo, with a $75,000 goal; it has currently raised over six times that goal.