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Projects - W (Willem) Takken

Project SolarMal: More food without malaria

Every 30 seconds, a child dies of malaria. The disease is costing Africa $ 12 billion per year in healthcare costs and lost agricultural productivity. Finding a way of combating malaria without using insecticides is essential to world food production.  

Willem Takken is using the Food for Thought, Thought for Food campaign to test an aroma mixture that attracts twice as many mosquitoes as humans, thereby helping to stop the spread of malaria. Wageningen UR hopes that this research will bring us a step closer to resolving an important global problem.  

Willem Takken: ‘The World Health Organisation (WHO) aims to eradicate malaria by 2050. Efforts are being concentrated on developing vaccines against the parasite and on combating the insects that spread the disease: mosquitoes. As part of this plan, the Wageningen research project is looking for an effective, safe way of combating mosquitoes.'  

‘I will never forget the sight of all those children dying from malaria in hospitals,’ says Takken. Malaria is the biggest problem in the development of Africa. ‘An adult who suffers four attacks of malaria per year simply cannot work. This puts the food production in serious jeopardy.’