He led the study along with researchers from the Kenyan International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute. The solar-powered traps were laced with human pong and placed either outside or inside homes on the island, on Lake Victoria.
Mosquito nets and anti-malarial drugs were also used to combat the disease.
Since the traps need electricity to work, the researchers installed solar panels on the houses as there is no electricity grid on the island. In an added benefit for the local people, the panels could also power two light bulbs, and charge mobile phones. “Every minute, a child dies of malaria. This disease costs Africa twelve billion dollars a year” in health-care costs and lost production, the Dutch university said.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted to people through the bites of infected female mosquitoes.
There is currently no vaccine and some 438,000 people died last year from the disease, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Most of the deaths were among children under the age of five in sub-Saharan Africa.
The WHO is now working towards cutting the number of deaths from malaria by 90 percent by 2030.