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Boost on malaria fight as solar trapping system launched in Kenya

When optimally placed, the 12V powered MTego has an attractive range of 100 square metres.

In Summary
  • Estimate of 241 million malaria cases are reported every year worldwide with almost 627,000 relating to deaths.
  • The odour baited trap attracts mosquitoes which follow the odour plume to the source and are sucked into a catch-pot.
PreMal Co-Founder Lorenzo Fiori and Engie Energy Access Country Director Fredrick Noballa during the launch of solar-powered insecticide-free mosquito traps on July 22, 2022
PreMal Co-Founder Lorenzo Fiori and Engie Energy Access Country Director Fredrick Noballa during the launch of solar-powered insecticide-free mosquito traps on July 22, 2022
Image: HANDOUT

Malaria-causing mosquitos will be captured before getting into houses in an effort to eradicate the disease that kills thousands of people in Kenya every year.

This, after Engie Energy Access and Premal partnered to launch a solar-powered trapping system dubbed ‘MTego’ in the country. No insecticide is used in the process.

According to Engie Energy Access country’s director Fredrick Noballa, the new vector control technology is affordable, leverages clean energy and is a game-changer for livelihoods in rural areas.

The odour baited trap replicates human characteristics to attract mosquitoes and the technology employs a counter-airflow principle which uses an electric fan to create suction and emit a plume of odour.

The Mosquitoes follow the odour plume to the source and on approach, are sucked into a catch-pot and killed by dehydration.

When optimally placed, the 12V-powered MTego has an attractive range of 100 square metres.

 Malaria causes an enormous drain on African economies, with countries spending huge sums of resources for the control of malaria. These resources could instead be devoted to other productive sectors,” Noballa said.

Data by World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates 241 million malaria cases that are reported every year worldwide. Out of the estimate, 627,000 are said to relate to deaths.

Africa accounts for a high share of the global malaria burden with malaria cases at 95 per cent and malaria deaths at 96 per cent.

Cases relating to children under the age of 5 are said to account for about 80 per cent of all malaria deaths in the region.

According to Center of Disease Control, Kenya estimates 3.5 million new malaria-related clinical cases and 10,700 deaths each year.

PreMal's co-founder Lorenzo Fiori noted that the components of the odour pose no harm to humans.

The odour is based on components present in human sweat and is highly attractive to all human-biting mosquitoes but imperceptible to human beings," Fiori said.