The humble loofah. Could bring back nostalgic memories of childhood bath times. Might remind you of shopping for White Musk and strawberry lip balm at The Body Shop.
But did you know they’re part of a process that could save your life if you’re heading to a tropical climate?
Incognito’s commitment to donating 10% of all profits to charity has allowed us to support a rich variety of creative and life-changing projects of all shapes and sizes.
One such project, is a student-led enterprise from the Enactus Edinburgh society. Their project aims to confront the lack of opportunities available to young people in Bombita, a village which sits on the southern coast of the Dominican Republic. Their solution? An insect-repellent soap which is made and sold locally to simultaneously tackle challenges of hygiene, insect-borne disease, income and education.
In the first of two guest-blog posts written by Laura; one of the student volunteers, we are introduced to the small village of Bombita, its beauty, eccentricities & charm, and also the challenges and hardships which were to inspire Laura to undertake this project with the Enactus Edinburgh team.
If I were to describe my first experience of Bombita in one one word – departing an over-crowded, dilapidated bus as I said farewell to the middle-age woman with whom I had shared a lap with for the past 6 hours, whilst the audacious orange and red sign marked BOMBITA glared me in the face – it would be foreign. In this particular instant I was beginning to wander if the feat that I had taken on was in fact rather brash. I was seventeen and had newly graduated from secondary school, I had spent the past year and a half fundraising to fly to the Dominican Republic and volunteer as an art teacher and until this point had not once doubted whether or not I was capable of spending 12 months away from my friends and family, never mind learn an entirely new language or control a classroom of 30 finger painting 5 year olds. I could have never anticipated the warmth with which I would be welcomed into the lives of complete strangers and how quickly I would gain a second family in the Dominican Republic.
Zika is all over the news and has been for a few weeks now. It’s not going to go away anytime soon, in fact Zika will increase, almost certainly to spread throughout most of America and Asia. The Zika virus is spread via mosquito bites and is carried by daytime biting mosquitoes: Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus (Asian Tiger Mosquito), both these species are in around half the countries in the world. With large populations throughout the Tropics, including Central and South America along with all of the Caribbean. They also carry the diseases dengue (already endemic in Brazil & elsewhere) and Chikungunya.
To date nearly all transmitted cases have been by the 2 mosquitoes mentioned above and a handful of suspected sexual transmission; though the authorities: scientists; doctors; the CDC; etc. have very little evidence, including the from the recent Dallas couple, are not sure. For example a female mosquito could be present when said couple were having sex!
So is it really possible to protect you and your loved ones from contracting Zika? Remember! NO BITES = NO ZIKA (or any other mosquito borne disease)
Despite the term, ‘mosquito bite’, mosquitoes don’t actually open their ravenous jaws to have a nibble on your ankles; it is the proboscis (the long pointed mouthpart) that pierces the skin with its razor sharp end, to get to the delicious blood supply beneath. The proboscis has two tubes, one to withdraw the blood and another to deposit saliva. The way in which we react to mozzie bites is dependent on this saliva and the reaction our body has to the proteins it contains.
Reactions to mosquito bites vary enormously; from mild irritation to potentially life threatening, with a contingent of people not reacting at all to them. This is where many people fall fowl of a common misconception; just because you cannot see or feel bites, does not mean you have not been bitten! This is ok in the UK, but as soon as these people leave the sanctuary of British shores they are even more at risk than the normal population, whose bites itch like crazy.
With temperatures as hot as 36 degrees, this summer our prayers have been answered. We have been granted unrelenting, beautiful sunshine for longer than a few passing days and this is set to continue well into September! We have had one of the hottest summers of the last decade and people have delved into a pandemonium of summer activities and excitement.
However, this glorious weather has incited something other than just summer frivolity, it has paved the way for a plethora of insects to reproduce in our midst. This warm and wet weather provides the perfect breeding conditions for those biters we loathe the most: mosquitoes. Therefore being informed in order to protect ourselves is an ever increasing priority for many people.
Last month on BBC Breakfast, Louise Minchin and Bill Turnball interviewed Dr. James Logan of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical medicine. Not only did the interview illuminate the necessity of a trusty mosquito repellent but descended into giggles as Minchin unwittingly released a cage of mosquitoes into the studios.
New Kairomone ‘Camouflage’ Could be the Answer
For many years, DEET has been used as the main way to help repel mosquitoes, to help prevent deadly diseases such as malaria. But current research is showing that this synthetic compound is becoming under threat from DEET-resistant mosquitoes. However, clinically proven Eucalyptus Maculata Citriodora works even better by cleverly camouflaging our unique body smells and deterring those unwanted pests….