GWHN teams up with SC Johnson to implement Phase 2 of The Boko Project

Here is exciting news in the ongoing fight against malaria. The Green World Health Net, in partnership with SC Johnson’s Base of the Pyramid (BOP) Group, and researchers from Tulane University’s Center for Applied Malaria Research and Evaluation and the University of Switzerland-Basel’s Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, will launch a malaria prevention project in Ghana called The Boko Project. The project, which is set to begin in March, has the potential to make a big difference in the fight against malaria in Ghana, Africa and around the world.

Better Lives

Malaria is a common and devastating problem in many parts of the world, especially in Africa. In Ghana, a country that has the same population as Texas, nearly 20,000 children die each year from malaria. Ghana is just one of many countries where malaria is endemic and many lives are unnecessarily lost to this preventable disease. Despite many advances, malaria is a problem that just won’t go away. But there’s hope.

bed nets

The Boko Project will focus on the use of mosquito nets, which are a proven and cost effective malaria prevention tool. There are a lot of nets out there, and countries where malaria is widespread have achieved country-wide or “universal” bed net coverage. In Ghana, where it is common for up to four people sleep in one bed, more than 12 million bed nets have been distributed.

While universal bed net coverage is a great goal to achieve, on average only 50 percent of bed nets are actually used. This greatly reduces the effectiveness of the nets for preventing and eradicating malaria. What our research shows is that one of the main reasons people don’t use their bed nets is because the nets are way too hot and stuffy to sleep under. The issue is that mosquito bed nets act like a screen and, like the screens on your windows, air cannot fully circulate in and out of the nets.

The goal of the Boko Project is to help solve the problem of air circulation preventing people from using bed nets.  The solution the team developed is a fan and a light placed inside mosquito nets. We think that having air circulation and light inside the nets will increase comfort and quality of life to the point that people will use the nets more. We aim to get bed net use rates above 90 percent, which is a lot better than what they are now.  The idea that if a tool or a product that helps prevent malaria can also be made to increase comfort and quality of life, then people will use it. And, if people are using it, in the case of our project, the rates of malaria will go down and lives will be saved.

Better Planet

Since many of the people at risk of malaria live in communities without electricity (almost 75 percent of Africa’s people live without access to electricity), it is important to have a way to power the fan and light consoles using “alternative” energy sources. The most economical way to do that is by using energy from the sun.

Each of the houses participating in the Boko Project will receive a solar system that includes a solar panel and battery to power the fan and lights that will be placed inside the mosquito nets.  We have discovered that for very little extra cost, we can also add some LED lights for the house so that people can cook, read, and live in a house with a sufficient amount of light. Currently, many people who live where there is no electricity use candles or kerosene lamps for their lights.

Assembling solar panels

The Meaning of “Boko”

You might have been wondering what the “Boko” in the Boko Project is all about and why we chose this name for our project. “Boko” is a word in Twi, the most widely spoken native language in Ghana.  When someone asks you in Twi “how are you” one can answer “Boko”, “I am cool”, which, like in English, is slang for “I am well”.  We named this project the “Boko” Project because we believe it will help people stay well and will do this by literally keeping them cool. We think this project will result in better lives and a better planet, one in which malaria eradication becomes a real possibility. So next time someone ask you how you are, answer “Boko”… and then tell them your story.

Stay tuned for updates on the Boko Project here on the SC Johnson blog!

Photos courtesy of Peter Nardini, Green World Health Network.

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We Need You! – Ride with Green World Health Net and Climate Ride to create a healthier planet

slide2_groupjump- Climate RideWe are very excited to announce that GWHN is now a member of the Climate Ride team and one of their new beneficiary organizations. This means that proceeds from Climate Ride’s national fundraiser bike ride events (three per year) will go towards helping us implement our green projects around the world. We are proud to be one of the organizations selected by Climate Ride and find ourselves in the company of many respected environmental organizations, both large and small, working towards creating a greener, more sustainable planet.

As part of our partnership with Climate Ride, GWHN has committed to sending at least Terrell- Climate Ridetwo sponsored riders per year to one of the biking events. This gives YOU an opportunity to participate in one of Climate Ride’s sponsored 3-4 day bike trips and help Green World Health Net in the process. Here is a link to learn more about the different regional rides and how to sign up. http://www.climateride.org.

This is a great opportunity meet new people or enjoy the company of friends and family, get some excercise, and to have some fun!

Unity Products, a GWHN partner, launches first product- eco and human friendly insect repellent- just in time for Summer!

Green World Health Net is proud to announce that Unity Products is now in business. Unity Products donates an unprecedented 25% of their profits to social causes and through itsUnity Bug Spray works is creating a more humane way of doing business. GWHN is the recipient of half of these donations. Unity Product’s aim is to eventually donate up to 75% of profits- a business model we think we will see more of in the coming years.  Here is a link to a video about the company and their social giving:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbrnFz-Up3Q

To learn more about this revolutionary company and to order Unity Insect Repellent visit their website and online store at www.unityproducts.org.  Support this good cause meanhwile keeping those skeeters and other bugs away!

GWHN Executive Director wins Paul Re Peace Prize

2014_Winner_NardiniPeter Nardini, Green World Health Net founder and Executive Director, has been awarded the 2014 Paul Re Peace Prize. This bi-annual award is administered by the University of New Mexico (UNM) Foundation. The foundation committee chose Peter for the Peace Prize based on his local and international health and environmental work with GWHN.

Intent of the Ré Peace Prize Artist Paul Ré is recognized internationally for promoting world peace and harmony through his masterful creations. Since 1972, he has shown how serene and elevating art can act as a model for living and can inspire us to find our inner depth and express it outwardly through good works. In keeping with these ideals, the Peace Prize is given to that UNM student, faculty or staff member, alumnus or retiree who has promoted peace, harmony and understanding among people of the world, both within him- or herself and outwardly through tangible works. These works may be on a local, regional, national or global level. Emphasis is on promoting both internal and external peace and fostering discussion of what really constitutes peace.Re_Winners_2014

The small stipend that is awarded for the Peace Prize will go towards the writing of a TED Talk focusing on the connection between sustainable development/environmental work, conflict prevention and peace. More to come soon!

 

 

GWHN Teams Up with Tulane and Univesity of Basel for the Boko Project

Green World Health Net is teaming up with researchers from Tulane University’s Department of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, the Swiss Tropical  and Public Health Institute, University of Basel and others to put the Boko Project at the forefront as a viable solution to reducing malaria infection.

The Boko Project  team combines expertise in public health, business, technology, human factors engineering, clinical and operational research, and consists of staff from distinguished public and private institutions. Team members include Dr. Joseph Keating and Dr. Josh Yukich of Tulane, Dr. Olivier Breit of University of Swtizerland, all involved in malaria prevention research, Numair Latiff, a humans factor engineer, William Miller and Jesse Kalapa, both solar and LED light design experts, and Peter Nardini as the project team leader.

The Boko Project Team is currently exploring project collaborations with the UN Foundation, USAID and Mass General’s Center for Global Health. We are also looking at potential collaborations with Medical Care Development Inc (MCDI) for a project in Benin and with New Africa Energy for a project in Uganda.