This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Monday, July 22, 2013

Coming Soon--Soap to Help Protect You From Malaria

Among the many public health measures that have helped to lower disease and death rates over the past two hundred years, soap is one of the important, and regularly underestimated, ones. It's not just washing, but washing with soap that helps to kill bacteria and thus stops their spread. Now, two young researchers from Sub-Saharan Africa have devised a soap that they think will repel mosquitos, thus protecting you from its bite, and potentially from the malaria parasite. Malaria Nexus has the story:
Moctar Dembele, from Burkina Faso, and Gerard Niyondiko, from Burundi, were awarded last April the $25,000 Grand Prize of the Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) for their “Faso soap” which they claim can prevent malaria by repelling mosquitoes. The soap contains locally sourced herbs and natural ingredients which include shea butter, essential lemongrass oil and other ingredients that are still a secret. According to the inventors, whom are both students at the International Institute for Water and Environmental Engineering in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, the soap would leave on the skin a scent that repels mosquitoes. Dembele and Niyondiko hope to officially launch their “Faso soap” by 2015. Proper testing to show that the soap can successfully prevent malaria infection still needs to be conducted.
Launched by the University of California, Berkeley, the GSVC is an international competition which aims at helping starting entrepreneurs transform their ideas into products that will generate a positive impact on society. This year’s competition had 650 competitors from nearly 40 countries.
This is, quite literally, a feel good story of the very best kind. 

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