A soap invented by two African students Moctar Dembele from Burkina Faso and Burundian Gerard Niyondiko known as “Faso Soap” has made them $25000 richer after they won a global prize for inventors and entrepreneurs. They emerged first in the Global Science Venture competition.
The soap apparently wades off malaria carrying mosquito because it leaves a smell on the skin that repels the mosquitos.
The inventors are keeping its ingredients a closely guided secret but we learnt it might contain among other things shear butter and essential lemongrass oil.
Niyondiko, and Dembele are both students at the International Institute for Water and Environmental Engineering in Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso. ” In our country the majority of the population live below the poverty line” said Niyondiko.
“So we thought of a repellent and larvicidal mosquito soap which will be accessible and affordable”
“Faso Soap” leaves users fresh and clean and unattractive to the female anopheles mosquitos whose bite kills approximately 1.2 Million people around the world according to WHO statistics.
300 million people are infected by malaria each year on earth. 90 percent of the cases are in sub Saharan Africa where Malaria is still the leading cause of death especially among pregnant women and children.
Every minute, a child dies from malaria around the world and is still the world’s biggest killing preventable and curable disease. “No one needs to die from a mosquito bite” according to anti malaria campaign charity Malaria No More.
“The most dangerous animal in the world is not the shark, the lion or crocodile, the most dangerous animal in the world is mosquito” the two winners noted in their online video pitch for the competition.
If this soapy invention is eventually validated, It may just be fitting that a cure for malaria finally came from Africa. The highest number of victims worldwide are in Africa.
“Everyone, even the poorest of the poor in Africa uses soap and we wanted a product that does not demand enormous financial sacrifices” Dembele noted in the soap profile..
Besides repelling mosquitoes, Niyondiko says “waste water products contain substances that prevent the development of mosquito larvae, because the sanitation problem in Africa is one of the causes of mosquito vectors of malaria”
The news was a welcome relief on social media
“Young students are changing the world! Anti-malaria soap created by African students…How are you using your education?” one twitter account holder known simply as Ga twitted.
“Gerard and Niyondiko: two names, two countries, one brilliant products bravo” twitted On- Umami in French.
“Faso Soap” is presently undergoing clinical trials.
Fighting back. The Malaria No More Challenge
Global anti Malaria campaign group Malaria No More has an ongoing campaign to reduce and eventually eradicate malaria deaths. Its challenge is simple:
Malaria is one of the top 3 child killers on earth. The world is better prepared to defaeta malaria now than before.
Half the world population is at risk of contracting malaria
Malaria Keeps more children out of school than any other disease.
There is a 3.6 Billion gap in funding to control Malaria in Africa.
Malaria sucks the life blood out of Africa’s economy
To end malaria, the world needs quick diagnosis, treatment, use of mosquito nets, targeted insecticide spraying and more government funding.
Scientists are still struggling to get an effective malaria vaccine.