Join The Safety Net

Join The Safety Net

Start a Fundraiser

Get Started

Raise Your Voice

Get Started

Ways to Give

Learn More
Take Action

Post Author
By: Emile Dawisha

Malaria Gamechangers, Part 7: Spatial Repellents

June 1, 2023
Hero Image

Part 7 of our Malaria Gamechangers series (check out Episodes 1-6) highlights innovative, low-cost spatial repellent products that have shown to safely protect homes from malaria for up to 12 months.

Developed by SC Johnson, these new products – Guardian™ and Shield™ – create a protective shield against mosquitoes, using natural air flow to passively emanate the active ingredient, transfluthrin – no flame or electricity required. Both products require minimal handling and can be hung in semi-enclosed and enclosed spaces. “You put it in a space, and they repel mosquitoes without any interaction or maintenance,” said Tom Putzer, Director of SC Johnson’s Base of the Pyramid Group.

Guardian™ is made from a mesh fabric and protects up to eight months; and Shield™ is a clear coated plastic sheet that protects up to 30 days. Both products are low-cost and lightweight, making them ideal for rapid and large-scale distribution. SC Johnson is partnering with the University of Notre Dame, UNITAID, The Global Fund, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and a host of government and NGO partners to conduct a series of clinical trials in Indonesia, Peru, Kenya and Mali. Results to-date have shown that they are both effective at preventing mosquito bites and reducing malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases.

SC Johnson is working towards World Health Organization policy recommendation for these products. In the meantime, the company has invested in local manufacturing in Nairobi, Kenya, to accelerate distribution, with a goal of producing enough supply of spatial repellents to reach 17 million people annually in East Africa alone.

I recently interviewed Mr. Putzer at SC Johnson’s headquarters in Racine, WI. You can watch the film and read the full interview below.



Mr. Dawisha: Why are spatial repellents a gamechanger in the fight against malaria?

Mr. Putzer: We believe space repellents are a game changer for three key reasons. First, they work. Our laboratory and field testing done globally shows that they last up to eight months. Second, they’re simple. You put it in a space, and they repel mosquitoes without any interaction or maintenance. And third, they’re cost effective. They’ve been designed to be lightweight, easy to distribute, and because they last up to eight months, it reduces the number of touch points.



Mr. Dawisha: Where are spatial repellents being piloted?

Mr. Putzer: We’re working towards WHO [World Health Organization] policy recommendation for spatial repellents. This is supported by large scale, randomized controlled trials conducted with tens of thousands of people across multiple geographies. At the same time, we’re implementing spatial repellents in humanitarian settings: Rwanda, Syria, Yemen, Nigeria.

Based on the encouraging results we’ve seen so far, we’re investing in local manufacturing in Nairobi, Kenya, so we can bring these life-saving interventions to people at a larger scale.



Mr. Dawisha: How do spatial repellents fit into SC Johnson’s larger malaria strategy?

Mr. Putzer: At SC Johnson, we recognize that spatial repellents are just one of the ways we can contribute to the fight against malaria. So with that in mind, we’re developing partnerships to take a more comprehensive approach, implement things like educational programs that speak to malaria preventative behavior, distribution through community health workers, even building health clinics across multiple countries that currently are reaching more than a million people annually with access to basic health care.

Over the past ten years, we’ve reached more than 100 million people with solutions to prevent malaria, and we remain committed to play our role in the fight against this preventable disease.



Stay tuned as we highlight our next Malaria Gamechanger, monoclonal antibodies, in the coming weeks.

Join Our Network

Sign up now to stay up to date on progress made in the fight to beat malaria.