As India deals with the ongoing pandemic, rising malaria and dengue cases has posed double health threat. Addressing this issue, a discussion themed on ‘The fight against mosquito-borne diseases and the need for innovation’ was organized featuring experts from The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India; Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR); The Gates Foundation; Home Insect Control Association (HICA) and Godrej Consumer Products. During this discussion, a game changer innovation has been revealed that could make protection from mosquitoes accessible, effective and affordable for urban and rural masses. Created by the R&D team at Godrej Consumer Products, it is a paper-based mosquito repellent providing instant relief and upto 4 hours protection from mosquitoes.
Unveiled as Goodknight Jumbo Fast Card, it is a spiral shaped paper card. As soon as one light a Jumbo Fast Card, the technology activates fast action and an instant knock-down effect on mosquitoes. It also leaves a pleasing fragrance that lingers around the room. In India, close to 50% mosquito repellents used are burning formats.
Of this, almost 30% are using unapproved and illegal mosquito repellent incense sticks that has adverse health effects since they use harmful chemicals as actives in the product. Jumbo Fast Card is a high quality standard and safe alternative for users of such formats. This revolutionary product does not depend on electricity, making it a viable option for both urban and rural areas, susceptible to mosquito menace. Goodknight Jumbo Fast Card is available in a pack of 10 cards and affordably priced at INR 15. This means the per usage cost is as low as INR 1.5 only.
Commenting on the innovation, Sunil Kataria, CEO – India, and SAARC, Godrej Consumer Products Ltd (GCPL), said, “As the leader in the household insecticides category, Goodknight is committed to innovate and provide effective yet safe solutions at very low cost. Jumbo Fast Card is our latest innovation which is the result of our deep understanding of the category and know-how of what the country currently needs. This revolutionary paper-based format will give people dual benefit of instant action and its effect will last upto 4 hours at only INR 15 for 10 cards. This makes Jumbo Fast Card an effective and affordable solution against mosquitoes in the urban and rural landscape.”
The panel moderated by wellbeing champion Dr. Marcus Ranney, comprising experts from the Ministry of Health, ICMR, The Gates Foundation, HICA, suggested the need for innovation and partnership if India wants to be free of mosquito-borne diseases. Though a major global health crisis, COVID-19 is a strong case example highlighting how innovations in record time played a key role to improve public health. From home testing COVID-19 kits, infection free taps, phone booth COVID-19 testing to the vaccines itself, all these innovations empowered people around the globe to fight the pandemic. Similarly, the panel suggested to adopt a collective approach and look at innovations to fight malaria, dengue, and chikungunya, among others.
To tackle malaria and dengue, experts urged for behavioural and mindset change amongst citizens. Personal intervention is a must by adopting proper hygiene practices, using mosquito repellents at home and personal repellents when outdoors, bed nets, wearing full-sleeve clothes, and ensuring no water gets collected in and around homes as it becomes mosquito breeding grounds.
Dr. PK Sen, Principal Advisor, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said, “India need innovations to be free of mosquito-borne diseases. Malaria and dengue have seasonal occurrence with high outbreak potential. The burden of these diseases on the economy and healthcare system is much higher. The COVID-19 pandemic is placing immense pressure on health care system worldwide. Concerted effort with inter-ministerial convergence is the key
to strengthen community mobilization for effective vector control response. Supporting innovations will translate into development of unique tools and establish an eco-system fostering partnership. Addressing strategies with newer tools will give momentum for Universal Health Coverage to provide accessible, affordable and sustainable health care.”
Dr. Rajni Kant, Director, ICMR – Regional Medical Research Centre, Gorakhpur, commented, “We need to undertake research on priority areas such as drug resistance and identifying hot spots in case of malaria and demonstrate few model projects towards its elimination on a larger extent as well as creating awareness for prevention of dengue and work towards vaccine research. Due to growing population, urbanisation, global travel and climate change there is a need to equip ourselves in much better way to combat mosquito borne diseases. The analysis will help us to be better prepared. Supporting innovations, be it from public or private space, will empower India to possess solutions and tools for prevention and better treatment after disease occurrence. With 95% of our population living in malaria- endemic areas, public-private partnership can also help to research and develop affordable, cost-effective solutions for the masses.”
Adv. Jayant Deshpande, Honorary Secretary, Home Insect Control Association (HICA), a non-profit making industry body promoting safe use of household insecticides, said, “While people will prepare themselves against malaria & dengue, they need to do it with the right household insecticide products. Currently, we are urging people to stop buying illegal mosquito repellent incense sticks and opt for safe, approved incense sticks from reputed companies. While incense sticks from unscrupulous players maybe be cheap, they do not go through the regulated manufacturing processes and basic checks on safety parameters of skin, eye and respiratory system mandated for all home insecticide products. All illegal
incense sticks flout norms and are not tested on the aforementioned parameters. Affordable and effective innovations like Goodknight Jumbo Fast Card will act as an intervention and consumers stand to benefit from it.”
“As a group, Godrej has always tried to innovate and deliver solutions for the betterment of public life and progress of the country. Goodknight Jumbo Fast Card is one of the pragmatic solutions created by our R&D team. It is our humble contribution that will reinforce India’s war against the mosquito-borne diseases” added, Sunil Kataria of Godrej Consumer Products Ltd (GCPL).