If you have seen anything from Maternova in the last few weeks, you have probably seen that we launched a line of fashionable, low-cost clothing embedded with nanotechnology to protect against mosquitoes. This was the result of months of brainstorming, researching, and testing different Zika solutions. It is clear why we would choose to get involved with the Zika response – Zika is a huge threat to pregnant women and their unborn babies, as it has been linked with severe birth defects. However, Zika protective clothing is not the most obvious solution. If you are wondering why Maternova is tackling the disease with Zika protective clothing, this is the article for you.
Reason #1: Girls and women need multiple forms of protection against Zika Sure, other Zika solutions are being tested and deployed. Vaccinations are in the works, and there are the more traditional solutions such as bed nets and mosquito coils. We do not see these as competition, but a complement for the clothing line. Girls and women need multiple layers of protection, especially while solutions are in different stages of development.
Reason #2: Women and girls in low-resource settings are outside, getting water, washing clothes, at risk of Zika While Zika is a public health emergency in many parts of Central America, South America, and the Caribbean, it does not put life on hold. Many women in lower-resource areas spend a lot of time in and around water for a variety of reasons, where mosquitos are most concentrated. Zika protective clothing goes wherever women go to keep them protected.
Reason #3: Research shows that liquid repellents are expensive and culturally uncommon in Zika zones Women and girls are only going to use solutions that fall within their lifestyle. Expensive solutions are unrealistic for mass usage, especially if it is not a cultural norm.
Reason #4: As Zika hits the south, women in the U.S. can subsidize protective apparel for low-income women in other countries Zika has now been transmitted in the United States, beginning in Florida, and will surely continue to spread. Part of the profits from purchases in the U.S. will be used to subsidize Zika maternity clothes and protective apparel for low-income women in other countries, expanding the protection of mothers and newborns.
Reason #5: Health workers and others need uniforms with nanotechnology embedded to protect against Zika While the effects of Zika are most dangerous for pregnant women, everyone is at risk, especially those in close contact. Although we created Zika maternity clothes, protective apparel is not limited to pregnant women. It can protect health workers and the general population as well.
Reason #6: The nanotechnology in our apparel protects against dengue, chikungunya, Zika, Lyme, and Malaria Just like protective apparel is not limited to pregnant women, it is not limited to Zika. We began with Zika because it is an urgent, rapidly spreading disease. The nanotechnology in our clothing can protect against any mosquito or tick-borne illness, including dengue, chikungunya, Lyme, and malaria. Once we are established in the Zika outbreak, we can expand and see just how far our protective apparel can go.
Reason #7: Apparel with nanotechnology repellent is cheaper per use than other repellents against Zika, dengue, malaria, chikungunya, and Lyme Cost-effectiveness is always on our monitor when researching new products and solutions. Zika is hitting hardest in low-resource communities, which makes cost-effectiveness even more important. Our Zika protective clothing is low-cost, and can be washed 50 times without losing its repellent properties.
Reason #8: We are a social enterprise already selling to global health institutions around the world Maternova is a global distributor with connections all over the world. We are working our Zika solution into existing networks to expedite distribution. Zika is happening now and solutions cannot be stalled.
Reason #9: We are a social enterprise grounded in evidence-based solutions to protect women We extensively research products and approaches before bringing them into the Maternova portfolio. The nanotechnology in our Zika maternity clothes and protective apparel has been tested and proven effective, so women seeking protection WILL be protected.
Reason #10: Young women should not have to cower for fear of a mosquito. This is a serious solution for a serious issue Women cannot put their lives on hold and wait for Zika to end. This growing epidemic needs solutions now that fit into women’s lives. Zika protective clothing goes wherever women go, allowing women to carry on with their day-to-day lives, confident that they are safe from Zika.
Jean M. Bouquet, DO, is an Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Co-Director of the Urban Underserved Track at the Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine. He is the founder of the Bouquet Speculum, an innovative and FDA-cleared medical device that helps to screen women for cervical cancer. Dr. Bouquet also started the Cure Cervical Cancer nonprofit. The following blog post was written by Dr. Bouquet about his journey to creating the Bouquet Speculum.
Dr. Daniel Kimani is a trained and licensed medical officer in Kenya, holding a Bachelor of Medicine & Surgery, and a post-graduate certificate on basic oncology training. Dr. Kimani is the founder of the Global Cancer Care and Research Institute, and is an expert in clinical colposcopy — a procedure to examine the cervix, vagina, and vulva.