Project  //  Program

Production and promotion of ecological mosquito repellent products in burundi for the prevention of malaria in africa


The Millennium Development Goals (MDG) form a multifaceted commitment to the world community that include cutting the rate of extreme poverty, providing primary education for children, reducing the rate of AIDS and malaria infections. The target date to achieve these goals is 2015. However, all recent reviews, including for the International Summit on the MDG held in New York on September 2010, assert that at the current rate of progress the MDG will not be met.

The Ethics Advisory Agency for the International Cooperation - ACECI - advocates the human factor in global issues like the fight against poverty, sustainable development, environmental management, bilateral and multilateral relations. ACECI believes that a major new impetus could be given for the implementation of the MDG if the South undertook the initiative to translate the MDG into a model law aimed at reducing poverty. To join the action to the ethical vision of development and cooperation promoted by the Agency, since 2009 it launched an awareness campaign, advocacy, mobilization for the development and adoption of a model law Anti-poverty. Then in 2010, it proposes to the Government of Burundi a project to produce and promote anti-mosquito products from the plant - cat cataria fight against malaria.

  • Fighting against poverty through binding legislation as the law is not only a powerful act of empowerment and ownership of the MDG by the people, civil society, parliaments and governments concerned, it also provides a legal framework for collaboration for international partners. It guarantees one hand respect for basic human rights, good governance, equity, wealth sharing, accountability, establishing monitoring mechanisms of the other, it obliges the government to invest in people, they are the greatest wealth of a country.

The implementation and practical application of such a law will require new forms of engagement of all stakeholders including the private sector aware of its social responsibilities and a highly participatory approach to ensure ownership by nationals from the start activities, generating significant capital gains through sustainable use and local processing of renewable natural resources.

  • So in anticipation of the implementation of the Anti-Poverty direct actions like the law on HIV / AIDS that the ACEC in close collaboration with l'Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal offers the people and the Burundian government an investment project for the production of mosquito repellents available to vulnerable populations. This sustainable development project that involves many actors of cooperation (governments, private companies, NGO, universities, etc..) allows the fight against malaria – number one cause of mortality, job creation and investment, strengthening capacity, economic growth through trade in the sub-region and even beyond the borders of the East African Community.

This project is operational implementation of MDG 6 (malaria control) and 8 (access to jobs, making products affordable for malaria prevention, access to new technologies in cooperation with the private sector).

Description of the problem Top

Malaria is a parasitic disease (Plasmodium) that destroys red blood cells. It is transmitted by the bite of female Anopheles mosquito.

The leading cause of death and medical consultations in Africa is malaria, endemic declared major in more than half of all African countries, it kills a child every thirty seconds on the continent, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

In Burundi, malaria is the first public health problem. It particularly affects pregnant women and children under 5 years old. Currently it is estimated that 80% of Burundi's population is at risk of catching malaria: 56% of the population lives in areas with epidemic potential, while 23% live in hyper endemic areas.

At health facilities, half of their patients are there due to malaria. Each year about 2 million cases of malaria are reported on average across the country, and children under 5 years old is the most affected group. In this age group, 48% of deaths in health facilities are due to malaria.

The disease gives a hard time to caregivers for leaving the lowlands, where it's usually hot and where it is endemic, to travel in the highlands where it's usually cold. Climatic variations in recent times in Burundi would be instrumental in the spread of uncontrolled disease, and it still does in the medical community in the country.

Burundi is struggling to endorse the Global Strategic Plan to roll back malaria and reduce morbidity and mortality due to malaria by 75% compared to the situation in 2005. It will also take into account the operational objectives defined at the end of 2010 it is prioritized as followed:

  • 80% of the population at risk is protected using the methods of vector control locally appropriate such as bed nets impregnated with insecticides, spraying operations within residential premises and where possible, biological and environmental measures.
  • 80% of malaria cases are diagnosed and treated with the most effective antimalarial combination therapies such as artemisinin-based (CTA) within 24 hours of onset of symptoms.
  • 80% of pregnant women receive intermittent preventive treatment in areas of stable malaria transmission.

This project is the first operational objective, while seeking to increase the percentage of protection for the population at a risk beyond 80, by producing environmentally friendly anti-mosquito products affordable. They promote their use throughout the sub-region.

Top Aromatic plant nepeta cataria

The Nepeta cataria also called "Catnip" or "purring" is originally from Europe and Asia. It belongs to the family Labiatae. The Romans cultivated the Nepeta cataria in the city of Nepeta, which has no doubt given its name.

The plant was recognized as having some medicinal properties such as cure of leprosy and as an infusion to aid digestion. It also has a sedative.

Catnip grows in all types of land. This plant is very easy to grow. It takes a lot of light, so it adapts well to the climate in Burundi. It also grows in mountainous areas, up to 1,500 meters of altitude.

The seeds sown to emerge after 7-20 days. The germination rate is high.

The Nepeta cataria is a perennial, it has rre-grows from its roots after harvest.

The dihydronépétalactone, a minor natural which is composed of the essential oil of catnip, has been identified as a compound repellent. The synthesis of dihydronépétalactone can be obtained by hydrogenation of nepetalactone, the main constituent of essential oils of catnip. This compound, which also has a good scent, can be used commercially for its insect repellent properties.

This insect repellent looks like a viable alternative to the N-diethyl-m-toluamide (DEET), currently the most widely used product, that has a bad smell, and leaves a greasy feeling on the skin. This fully synthetic substance may cause allergic or toxic reactions in some children. In addition it dissolves some plastics and some paints. But above all: it is too expensive to buy for vulnerable populations.