"Think Like a Mosquito": Anne's invention could save countless children's lives

“Think Like a Mosquito”: Anne’s invention could save countless children’s lives

“I’ve been working on this invention since 2007,” Ann told RTL Nieuws. “The tube works like a mosquito net.” Ventilation tubes, called EaveTubes, are installed below the house’s eaves. Contains gauze with a substance that kills malaria mosquitoes.

“I had to figure out the best location for the tube,” Anne says. “The human scent goes up, because it is warmer than the environment. I thought like a mosquito: If I’m a mosquito, I’ll go in through that hole, because it smells great there at night.”

Mosquitoes only want blood

“It is important to kill the malaria mosquito very quickly,” says the Wageningen businessman. “You know a mosquito only wants one thing: blood.” That’s why there are insecticides in the tube. “Thanks to the special mixing method, it is very light and soft. Plus the powder is attracted to mosquitoes. Even insecticide-resistant mosquitoes can die.”

Anne’s tubes have been tested in Ivory Coast in recent years. Forty villages participated in the study: Half of them had anti-malaria tubes installed in all homes.

Two years later, it turned out that in the villages with EaveTubes there was a significant reduction in malaria: children were 38% less likely to contract malaria.

This can have dire consequences: every year hundreds of millions of people become infected with the disease caused by a parasite and transmitted by mosquitoes. More than 400,000 people die of malaria every year, 67 percent of them under the age of five.

frustration

Anne prefers to supply the whole world with his ventilation ducts as quickly as possible. Anne: “We’ve known for quite some time that this works well. But to be able to deploy the tubes on a large scale, you need help from the World Health Organization (WHO). I’ve been talking about it since 2015.”

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The trial in Ivory Coast was part of the WHO approval process. That organization now wants another investigation. This can take years, and meanwhile children can die unnecessarily from malaria. Anne: It’s frustrating.

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