French company QISTA deploys its eco-friendly mosquito trap in East Africa

A first in East Africa: the city of Djibouti has chosen the eco-friendly anti-mosquito solution of the young French company QISTA to fight against the mosquitoes responsible for the transmission of malaria and chikungunya.

After its entomology laboratory, QISTA Lab, was entrusted last March with carrying out a diagnosis of the city of Djibouti to study the causes of the explosion of vector-borne diseases, QISTA is delighted to have signed with ONEAD (National Office for Water and Sanitation in Djibouti) a memorandum of understanding to deploy its eco-friendly mosquito traps in the city.

As part of Djibouti’s sanitation program aimed at remedying the uncontrolled spreading of wastewater and the problem of stagnant water, the main sources of the exponential development of mosquitoes, ONEAD chooses French Tech and QISTA.

Pierre Bellagambi, the co-founder of QISTA, and Mr. Mohamed Fouad Abdo, Director General of ONEAD, signed on November 17, 2021, a cooperation agreement to deploy the QISTA mosquito traps in the city of Djibouti.

The first network of 60 traps will be quickly installed to protect the ONEAD sites and their residents. Around 100 additional ones will be installed near schools and health facilities by 2022.

QISTA will support these facilities with the training of ONEAD staff. Before entering its implementation phase, this project was developed within the “Djibouti Territory of Innovations” cluster, an eco-innovation platform, of which QISTA is among the first members. It is in line with the cooperation agreement between Djibouti and the SOUTH Region.

Djibouti is the first African country where anopheles stephensi, a species of malaria-vector mosquito native to Asia, was reported in 2012. And since then it has continued to proliferate. Of 24 confirmed malaria cases in 2012, the state of Djibouti had 26,000 in 2018. 90% of cases are concentrated in the capital region. At the same time, the aedes aegypti, which carries chikungunya, is also proliferating, its presence being facilitated by global warming favorable to its development.

Faced with this observation, ONEAD is committed to vector control by implementing complementary prevention and control actions, in particular through the acquisition of the QISTA solution.

The signing was made in the presence of Mr. Mohamed Ahmed AWALEH, Minister of Agriculture, Water, Fisheries, Livestock and Fisheries Resources, of Mr. Arnaud GUILLOIS, Ambassador of France, and of Mr. Guillaume HUET, Director of International Cooperation of the SUD Region.

Pierre Bellagambi, co-founder of QISTA: “We are proud that ONEAD is betting on French Tech and choosing our eco-responsible technology but also the real-time monitoring software that we are developing, to support it in its fight against mosquitoes and the prevention of vector-borne diseases. We are honored to be able to share our expertise and know-how with the staff of ONEAD that we are going to train, and that such a prestigious partner in East Africa has placed their trust in us in a context where the development of malaria and chikungunya is very worrying ”.

While participating in the neutralization of vectors such as mosquitoes and limiting the use of toxic products for the environment and populations, QISTA will be able, in collaboration with its partners in Djibouti, to carry out large-scale scientific monitoring and continue its research work on optimizing the fight against mosquitoes thanks to its traps and their impact on the prevention of vector-borne diseases in urban areas. QISTA and ONEAD are fully committed to contributing, through a scientific approach, to a better understanding of low environmental impact vector control.

About QISTA and its solutions

Created in 2014 and based in Sénas in the Bouches-du-Rhône, QISTA specializes in eco-responsible mosquito control and vector prevention. The company now employs around fifty people and achieved a turnover of 3.9 M € in 2020. The company, created by Pierre Bellagambi and Simon Lillamand, has developed an ecological mosquito trap that protects against bites but also allows the monitoring of mosquito populations for the purposes of preventing the diseases they can carry. At a low rate, similar to that of human respiration, this terminal emits recycled carbon dioxide and a discreet scent decoy that mimics body odor. The device attracts the female mosquito (the male does not bite) which, once nearby, is sucked into a trap from which she cannot get out. A real prevention tool, the terminal also offers a real-time monitoring system thanks to geolocated sensors that analyze the volume of mosquitoes captured, current and future levels of infestation. Air Liquide, France Industrie and TDH acquired a stake in the French start-up in 2017. QISTA is now present in more than 50 municipalities in 13 countries, for a total of nearly 7,500 traps installed. In 2021, QISTA is one of the 21 “Industry Territories” winners in the PACA region of the France Relance Plan. In 2018, QISTA was awarded at CES in Las Vegas.

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