Dr. Fredros Okumu, the head of the research project at Tanzania's Ifakara Health Institute, discovered that the stinky smell of a human foot attracted many mosquitoes and 95% of those mosquitoes were poisoned by the said foot pungent odor.
He learned this experiment from Dr. Bart Knols, a Dutch scientist who made the first discovery by standing in a dark room naked and found out that mosquitoes bit mainly his feet, which were emitting a stinky odor.
He replicated this phenomenon by using a careful blend of eight chemicals to attract more mosquitoes to a trap where they can be poisoned.
“This is the first time that we are focusing on controlling mosquitoes outside of homes," said Okumu, a Kenyan who has been ill with malaria several times. “The global goal of eradication of malaria will not be possible without new technologies."
Some experts worry eradication is unrealistic because of the lack of an effective malaria vaccine and because some patients have developed resistance to the most effective malaria medicines.
The Gates foundation will fund this project in Tanzania, the news said.
Okumu received an initial grant of $100,000 to help his research two years ago. Now the project has been awarded an additional $775,000 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Grand Challenges Canada to conduct more research on how the traps should be used and whether they can be produced affordably.
Manila Bulletin, July 15, 2011
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