Tanzania’s Ifakara Health Institute (IHI) has developed a repellent to control mosquitoes that spread dengue, Chikunganya and Zika diseases, a senior research scientist revealed on Monday.
Nico Govella, IHI Senior Research Scientist, said that the vector control technology developed at IHI’s Kingani Training Centre located in Tanzania’s eastern district of Bagamoyo would also be used to protect people from mosquito bites.
The main goal of this technology is to ward off mosquitoes that spread dengue, Chikunganya and Zika viruses to people, and this kind of mosquitoes usually bite during daytime, he said.
“We have decided to come up with this technology after discovering that many countries were affected by these disease and they don’t know how to prevent these mosquitoes,” he stated.
Govella said that IHI spent 150,000 dollars to facilitate the centre to conduct research on the technology, which officially started in 2017 and is scheduled to end in March.
“We are doing trials, and we have shared the technology with our counterparts in South America,” he said, noting that the centre will continue to assess effectiveness of the technology.
Govella said the reason to share the technology with South American countries is to seek support and suggestions from them on how to improve the repellent.
“We have locally tested the mosquito repellent to see how it works and the results are positive,” Govella affirmed.
He said the mosquito repellent will be distributed to the public as soon as IHI completes its research.