An organic substance being tested at Uganda's National Chemotherapeutic Laboratory was recently found to effectively kill mosquito larvae without causing harm to the environment, the New Vision/AllAfrica.com reports.
Laboratory head Grace Nambatya said the product is extracted from plants and was found to be "effective" in tests. "It is a breakthrough in the fight against malaria because we can use this method to test many local plants," Nambatya said.
The product is added to water that contains mosquito larvae. It induces reactions in the bodies of the mosquitoes when they are exposed to sunlight.
Nambatya said that this could be "one of the approaches" used to fight malaria. A proposal for field tests will soon be sent to the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology, Nambatya said, adding that she is working with a team of researchers in Egypt to develop the method.
Nambatya would not provide the name of the plants being used because she said researchers have not secured an international patent. According to Nambatya, traditional healers throughout Uganda have collected local plants that might be effective substitutes to the already tested product.
Walid Ali, who represents the Egyptian companies Multipharma and Nile Allied Medic Pharmaceutical, said, "We have developed this method for mosquito control, which is nontoxic and applicable to poor regions of the world which are infested by severe tropical diseases," including malaria.
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation