The sting operation: Mosquito bite and the invention bug
By Harsha | Express News Service | Published: 15th April 2018 06:25 AM |
MANGALURU: Buzzzzz....swat. Wait. A Mangaluru-based innovator has come up with a cost-effective device which does not use any chemicals and will not even burn a hole in your pocket.
Unlike other hazardous mosquito repellents and expensive imported devices available in the market, the device developed by Orwin Noronha (57) can eliminate female mosquitoes at less than 10 paisa per day.
Noronha, who has always had an innovative bent of mind, realised the need for a cost-effective device for eliminating mosquitoes long ago. Seventeen years ago, he stopped executing waterproofing works with chemicals manufactured by him and returned from Baharin to Mangaluru in order to carry out research.
After observing the working of the US-made ‘mosquito magnet’ (which was priced Rs1.10 lakh), he tried similar experiments using carbon dioxide to attract female mosquitoes.
The painstaking research using gas cylinders, sea shells among other things did not yield expected results. One such research on generating carbon dioxide from hydrochloric acid ended in a disaster with Noronha almost losing his vision. But he refused to give up and started working on a different principle. The result was the MozziQuit. The electrical device has food grade proprietary additives mixed with raw plastic material. When switched on, the device emits a temperature equivalent to that of warm blooded vertebrates. “This temperature draws mosquitoes and the vacuuming technology in the trap zone sucks mosquitoes, making them pass through perforated holes which are the killing zones within the device,’’ he says.
With the objective of popularising his device among dairy farmers, he approached Assistant Director of Veterinary Hospital in Mangaluru and Karnataka Veterinary Animal and Fisheries Sciences University in Bidar to evaluate the device’s efficacy in controlling mosquitoes. After placing the mosquito trap in livestock farms, both institutions certified that because of the device, milk yield in bovines and weight of poultry birds had increased because of good sleep and less irritability in the absence of mosquitoes. The scientists also had observed that existing repellents and burning coconut shells affected cow’s kidneys and lungs.
The biggest test for the device came when Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director General Soumya Swaminathan, on seeing scores of dead mosquitoes in PET jars displayed at the Festival of Innovations organised at Rashtrapathi Bhavan in New Delhi on March, 16, 2016, directed National Institute of Malaria Research (NIMR) in Bengaluru to submit a detailed scientific evaluation report on its use. A three-member team, led by scientist S K Ghosh of ICMR-NIMR, carried out the study particularly in malaria-prone construction sites in the city during dry and wet seasons. “Besides MozziQuit, imported traps were placed at the same spot for comparison,’’ Noronha recollected.
In the final report submitted on February 21, 2018, Ghosh observed, “The device traps Anopheles mosquitoes, especially malaria vector Anopheles stephensi, Culex mosquitoes, especially human filariasis vector Culex quinquefasciatus, and JE vector Cx. tritaenorhynchus, Aedes mosquitoes, especially Dengue vector Aedes aegypti and Chikungunya vector Ae. albopictus.’’
“The report declaring that mosquitoes trapped in my device were more than those in imported traps vindicated my stand,’’ he says. Now, with a Millennium Alliance (round 4) grant of Rs15 lakh, he along with his brother Nelson Norohna, plans to enter the market with improvised battery-operated and solar-powered devices.
Mosquitoes are known to
spread diseases like Malaria, Dengue, Chikungunya, Zika, etc.
Malaria advocacy groups had estimated the socio-economic losses inflicted by mosquito menace at Rs 13,520 crore annually.
A report published by World Health Organisation (WHO) and National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (Dec 2016) reveals that India, which accounts 70% of Malaria cases in Southeast Asia region, needs $18 billion (Rs1.21 lakh crore) to implement a national framework for Malaria elimination and win the battle against the disease by 2030.
Aug 26, 2017: The device, priced Rs1,800 onwards, had won National Agripreneurs Award 2017 in New Delhi
May, 5, 2017: One among 50 Indian innovations displayed in Silicon Valley at TiECON 2017 held at Santa Clara Convention Center, USA.
Feb, 2, 2017: Won Small Enterprise Innovative Startup Award in B’luru.
2010: Won Gold Medal Award in DST-Lockheed Martin India Innovation Programme, Texas, USA.
Got process patent, holds 12 design regn certificates