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Anti-Malaria Home-Proofing

$230k pilot funding to a Ugandan research organization, Med Biotech Laboratories, to conduct a 3-year field trial of an innovative anti-malaria “home proofing solution.”

Investment Overview

Location: 
Uganda
Sectors: 
Health

Anti-Malaria Home-Proofing

Health | Uganda | Pilot

 

The development problem: Malaria is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, with over 400,000 attributable deaths last year, 90% of those occurring in Africa. It is a disease that disproportionately impacts GIF’s target beneficiaries living on less than $5/day, many of whom are rural, less educated, and unable to afford or access healthcare treatment for malaria. In many African nations, malaria is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality, and generates an enormous burden on national healthcare systems – for instance, in Uganda, malaria accounts for 30-50% of outpatient visits and 15-20% of hospital admissions – besides deaths (particularly in children under 5), there is strong evidence connecting malaria to a range of adverse outcomes including anemia, other nutrition deficiency-related indicators (e.g. low birthweight for children of infected pregnant women) and permanent disabilities such as hearing and visual impairments.

The innovation: The anti-malaria home-proofing innovation involves modifying a traditional home redecoration custom (where surfaces like walls are decorated by smearing a mix of soil/dung/ash), by incorporating insecticide into this mix. In this way, it has potential to perform a similar function to indoor residual spraying, where mosquitoes are killed if they come into contact with treated surfaces. Med Biotech Laboratories (MBL) has conducted laboratory tests with promising results. GIF’s $230k funding (with equal co-funding from Grand Challenges Canada) will help MBL conduct a 3-year field trial to confirm the efficacy of the innovation in the field.

Why we invested:

  • Important development problem that disproportionately impacts GIF’s target beneficiaries who live on <$2/day
  • Potential for hut decoration method to i) generate comparable prevention to current methods ii) be cost-effective, iii) be more behaviourally suited to Ugandan context
  • Wide range of use cases (home proofing/malaria, but also paint/other insect-borne diseases)
  • Strong team of local Ugandan researchers