Ginette Karirekinyana is a Burundi-born entrepreneur frustrated by Africa’s struggle to conquer malaria. The global effort of the past 20 years has done some good but is not progressively growing due to its focus on mosquito nets.
A solution to this stunted growth would be to focus on countries where malaria is most common, and organize a targeted homegrown response that addresses issues which aren’t in the statistics, such as how the inconvenience outweighs the value of wrapping a donated bed net around a cramped room.
Karirekinyana’s effort to assuage this was leaving her teaching job in Quebec and joining a research team to extract is a cost effective essential oil nepetalactone, commonly known as catnip. In their published research, they found that in a sample of 60 participants in Burundi, 55 said they were not bitten when using a lotion containing the catnip oil. Ten complained about the odor but were able to find ways to use it satisfactorily.
Karirekinyana has gone forward to mask the smell with other organic ingredients in her
Although Karire products are making waves in urban centers, they have not yet been able to spread to rural areas where the damage is most felt.
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