Buzz Off Insect Shield to Work With MENTOR Initiative

Insect Shield® Technology to be evaluated as protective tool in severely flooded, malaria-prone Busia District of Western Province Kenya.
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SEATTLE, WA – Buzz Off Insect Shield, LLC, has announced a collaboration with the MENTOR Initiative, an international humanitarian organization that provides essential disease-control and technical and operational support for populations in crises. One of MENTOR's current focus areas is the Busia District in Western Province, Kenya, where the population has been severely affected by floods. Flooding has caused displacement of many communities to makeshift camps, while others are cut off and isolated by floodwaters. In the past year, flooding and emergency living conditions have doubled the incidence of disease and death from malaria. Those most affected are young children and pregnant women.

Buzz Off Insect Shield welcomes opportunities to assist agencies and international relief organizations that work to protect at-risk populations from insect-borne diseases. The company will work with MENTOR toward the development of Insect Shield®-treated items to provide innovative tools for protection against malaria.

Richard Allen, director of the MENTOR Initiative said, “Permethrin-treated textile products have become very important helping to prevent malaria and other insect-borne diseases and are used widely in emergency and stable settings alike today. However, development of new innovative ITMs (insecticide-treated materials) such as treated sheets is needed and these could further improve ability to control malaria and other diseases if they can deliver long-lasting and effective protection against disease vectors. We are delighted to have the support of Buzz Off Insect Shield in working towards the development of these innovative new tools.”

Insect Shield products are proven and EPA-registered to repel a variety of insects—including mosquitoes that can carry malaria, as well as dengue fever and other devastating diseases. The repellency is odorless, invisible and effective, and the repellency of Insect Shield® Repellent Apparel lasts through 70 launderings.

Buzz Off Insect Shield Director of Global Health Initiatives Laura Hendrix has signed on to work with MENTOR's malaria-control project on site in the Busia District. Hendrix will help promote community awareness of malaria-prevention and treatment methods. She will also assist partners on the ground in the development and implementation of a user-acceptance evaluation of Insect Shield-treated khangas. Khangas are colorful wraps worn by African women that are also used to carry babies and as sleeping covers. Because of these specific uses, Buzz Off Insect Shield is hopeful that treated khangas can be a valuable tool for protection against mosquitoes that can carry malaria. Insect Shield-treated khangas will be provided to women throughout the flood-affected communities, and the user-acceptance study will assess acceptance and desirability of the khangas, as well as the feasibility of such a program, through weekly surveys.

About MENTOR
The MENTOR Initiative is a unique international NGO (non-governmental organization), registered in the UK, that is dedicated to providing essential disease control and technical and operational support in emergencies and recovering crises. MENTOR directly assists national and international humanitarian groups and authorities working in the most fragile states to improve the way in which they can respond to crises that befall them. MENTOR has established and delivers large-scale and effective malaria, and related, disease control directly through to the affected communities and, where possible, utilizing the existing health delivery system. For more information visit www.thementorinitiative.org.

About Buzz Off Insect Shield:
In July 2003, Buzz Off Insect Shield, LLC, introduced the first-ever EPA-registered insect-repellent apparel. Insect Shield® Repellent Apparel provides effective, invisible and odorless protection against mosquitoes, ticks, ants, flies, chiggers, and midges (no-see-ums). Insect Shield apparel categories include outdoor, golf, hunting, fishing, and equestrian in partnership with select brands such as ExOfficio, L.L. Bean, Orvis, Outdoor Research, Tilley Hats, Rocky Outdoor Gear, Imperial Headwear, Ariat, and Mad Dog Gear from Stearns. Insect Shield® Repellent Gear categories include camping, patio, beach, pet, and horse products, in partnership with brands such as Horseware Ireland and Orvis. For more information visit www.insectshield.com.


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