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Designers Create Insect-Repelling Clothes To Prevent Malaria

Every year, 655,000 people in Africa itself die from malaria.

In response, Cornell University’s scientist Frederick Ochanda and designer Matilda Ceesay have teamed up to create a hood that wards off mosquitoes infected with malaria.

The mesh hood’s cotton fabric is embedded with insecticide at a molecular level—up to three times more insecticide than normal insecticide-treated net.

According to Science Daily, the garment can be worn throughout the day for protection, and does not dissipate easily—it can even be recharged after six months.

“The bond on our fabric is very difficult to break,” Ochanda said in a statement. “Nets in use now are dipped in a solution and are not bonded in this way, so their effectiveness doesn’t last very long.”

“Seeing malaria’s effect on people in Kenya, it’s very important for me to apply fiber science to help this problem. A long-term goal of science is to be able to come up with solutions to help protect human health and life, so this project is very fulfilling for me,” he also told Science Daily.

The cape was part of an outfit of Ceesay’s six-piece collection, that was influenced by her heritage.

“The collection—and the insect-repelling hooded jacket in particular—represent a culturally-conscious way in which technological developments might be adapted to day-to-day life towards the solving of both local and large-scale problems,” she told designboom.

“I created this garment to remind people to not be complacent with the current treatments available for malaria. The world has been fooled into thinking diseases can only be treated by doctors; I hope to revolutionize the thought process behind finding medical solutions using this garment.”

The design team feels that in as few as two years, the technology could be market-ready.

[via Science Daily, images via Jason Koski / designboom]
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