Big Idea: : A portable, durable net for migrant workers
Project Launched: February 2011
Team: Albert Leung, Eva Hoffmann, Robyn Calder, Hiromi Kasawa
In Myanmar and throughout the developing world, poor migrant people often travel for work into malaria-endemic zones without protection from mosquitoes, accelerating the spread of drug-resistant malaria. Migrant workers are largely ignored by the international health community but are a huge epidemiological risk.
Almost every household in Myanmar owns a bed net; families use nets not because of the fear of contracting mosquito-borne diseases, but because they want a comfortable night’s sleep. When workers travel, they usually choose to leave their nets with their families to keep them comfortable. Even if travelling workers do bring nets with them, the current net options are flimsy and unsuitable for their sleeping conditions, and quickly become damaged beyond repair.
Designed in cooperation with GoodSleep Myanmar, SmartNet’s unique free-standing foldable structure makes it portable and easy to deploy in even the harshest of sleeping environments. It combines an insecticide-treated mosquito net with the sleeping mats which workers already use. Our design doesn’t require attachment points; is made of durable and heavy-duty fabric; creates a complete seal against mosquitoes; and has a waterproof bottom that allows it to be used directly on the ground.
What’s Happening Now?
The team is iterating further on the net design to respond to feedback from user testing in September. A return trip to Myanmar in the winter will help kick off a pilot study to determine the effectiveness and usability of the nets.
Interested in finding out more? Contact email@example.com!