Two internationally recognized infection control products have been introduced to Barbados that could aid authorities in the fight against infections and mosquito-borne illnesses, such as dengue fever and Zika.
Over the past week, Colin Mister, chief technical officer for the United Kingdom based Salvis Global Ltd has been meeting with major hoteliers and other tourism stakeholders, as well as hospital officials highlighting the benefits of the Salvis Halo and Mozzi-Mort insecticidal coating.
During an interview with Barbados TODAY, Mister said Barbados had been chosen as the market in the Caribbean to launch the products, which have proven beneficial for other countries, including those in South and North Africa as well as China, the UK and other parts of Europe.
He explained that Mozzi-Mort, which is applied to internal walls and surfaces, targets the vectors of diseases such malaria, West Nile virus, dengue and yellow fever and has been designed to prevent human beings from being bitten by disease-carrying insects, such as mosquitoes.
Without giving any actual statistics, the Chief Technical Officer made mention of Zambia, where he said authorities had initially introduced the product in section of the country. However, he said there was such “a large reduction” in malaria cases that the authorities soon had a change of heart about having Mozzi-Mort more widely implemented.
Mister also said the product has provided measurable comfort for travellers to countries which have been inundated with mosquito-borne diseases.
“We have worked extensively in Zambia with the government and with the Butter Fly Tree Charity to protect not only people at hotels but people living in small homes or even mud huts.
“And this year alone there has been a significant reduction in cases like malaria. And subsequently we happened to save lives in areas affected by vector borne diseases, such as malaria and other deadly diseases,” he told Barbados TODAY.
The company’s website also boasts that “test results, using the standard World Health Organization (WHO) insecticide treated surface bioassay method conducted by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), confirmed Mozzi-Mort’s ability to eradicate the anopheles mosquito, the major malaria carrier, in under eight minutes.
“LSHTM has also carried out tests on two other types of mosquito; aedes aegypti, carrier of dengue fever and Zika, and culex mosquitoes, carrier of West Nile disease, both of which Mozzi-Mort has been proven to eradicate,” the site adds.
It also points out that testing of the product has continued at LSHTM on a bi-annual basis since June 2003 in order to monitor the efficacy of the product over time, adding that “results have shown that Mozzi-Mort continues to be effective at least two years after initial application.
“In conjunction with the WHO’s 2003 Roll Back Malaria campaign, LSHTM findings have been sent to the World Health Organization in Geneva. As a result, all WHO regional Offices in Africa have been alerted to Mozzi-Mort,” which, according the website is “equally of use to the United Nations, whose troops and personnel are regularly called upon to enter areas of natural disaster and war zones where they are often exposed to an abundance of deadly insects, viruses and bacteria.
Mozzi-Mort has been specifically tested at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and proven to be effective against such insects the anopheles gambiae (the mosquito vector of human malaria); the aedes aegypti (mosquito vector of dengue & other arboviral diseases; culex quinquefasciatus (mosquito vector of filariasis & West Nile virus); musca domestica (common domestic house fly); periplaneta americana (common American cockroach); cimex leticularis (bed bug); tenebrio molitor (mealworm beetle); ctenocephalides felis felis (cat flea) and ermatophagoides farinae (house dust mite).
Mister has also been working extensively with the hospitals to control their rates of infections.
He explained that a Halo machine – a total room disinfection system that reaches exposed surfaces – is used to reduce the risk of cross-contamination associated with using a rag, wipe or sponge and has proven very beneficial in hospital settings.
“It’s a machine you wheel into a room, pour in a chemical which is food safe and it would dispense a fog into the atmosphere. It takes about 60 minutes. It would do the whole environment including the ceilings, the walls, curtains, bedding.
“It is a highly effective infection control product. I have put the first one in one of your hospitals on Tuesday and we are now working with some medical centres,” he revealed.
Mister said Barbados was the ideal base to launch the products, noting that he had already been in contact with local companies willing to stock and market the products.
He also revealed that to keep shipping costs down and create employment in the local market, Salvis Global was also preparing to enter discussions with manufacturing companies about making the insecticidal paint.
He said this process would include the main ingredient being shipped to Barbados, while the other ingredients and water would be added here.
“Every country has different challenges and opinions. What I have found here in Barbados is that our products fit perfectly into the marketplace. They are non obtrusive, there is no smell, there is no taint, there is no harm. Everybody can see where they can be implemented across the board.
“From a commercial, residential and industrial focus, the products are being really well received in Barbados. Actually it’s been a 100 per cent positive reception. I have had many appointments so far and all have been receptive and are going to have the products,” he said.