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5 Reasons Our New Spatial Repellent Product Could be a Gamechanger for Underserved Communities

Every year, millions of people around the globe get mosquito-borne illnesses like malaria, Zika and dengue. They are dangerous public health threats that disproportionately affect families in the most underserved communities. 

As part of our work for a healthier world, we have been helping families at the base of the economic pyramid for more than two decades with mosquito-borne disease prevention. But even though diseases like dengue and malaria are preventable, billions of people around the world lack access to prevention products.  

We are working with public health partners to prove the effectiveness of low-cost spatial repellents for reducing disease transmission, with the goal of getting them into public health channels to help protect more families. And that is where our new Mosquito Shield™ product comes in.

1. It is easy to use. The product is a folded plastic sheet coated on the inside with the active ingredient, transfluthrin. When peeled open and hung in an enclosed or semi-enclosed space, it releases the active into the surrounding area, continuously repelling mosquitoes.

2. It works continuously for 30 days. Because Mosquito Shield™ uses natural airflow to passively emanate the active, it keeps working continuously for 30 days. Users do not need to do anything except hang it in the space they want to protect.

3. No flame or electricity required. Traditionally, many spatial repellents have required energy to activate them – for example, mosquito coils are burned, and liquid electrics are plugged into an electrical outlet. This product simply uses passive airflow; no flame or electricity required.

4. It protects a space. Because it is designed to be used in semi-enclosed and enclosed spaces, the Mosquito Shield™ can help to protect more than one person. It can help protect the entire family while they are in the space where it is being used. 

4. The research is promising. We partnered with the University of Notre Dame and the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology, with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to test the Mosquito Shield™ in a trial in Indonesia. That study showed a 28% protective efficacy against first-time malaria infections

Then, a Peru-based clinical trial also led by the University of Notre Dame, in cooperation with the University of California, Davis and U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit Six, found that the Mosquito Shield™ appeared to reduce Aedes-borne virus infections rates by an estimated 34%.

Now, using what we have learnt, an optimised version of the Mosquito Shield™ will be used in large-scale clinical trials funded by UNITAID in Kenya, Mali, and Sri Lanka.

We have been working for years to help families protect themselves from mosquito-borne diseases like malaria and dengue and are thrilled to be taking this next step to get the Mosquito Shield™ into public health channels so it can help protect more people.