Malaria, a plague for Africa

A child dies from malaria every 2 minutes

According to WHO, 435,000 people died in 2016 from malaria. 90% of victims are young children in Africa.

The number of cases is rising again since 2015

Despite the efforts of the international community, nearly 200 million cases were reported in Africa in 2016.

Malaria slows down an entire continent

First source of absenteeism at school, the disease also weighs heavily on the household budget.

Mosquitoes adapt to mosquito nets

“Tools are needed for protection of people when they are outside of
homes protected by core interventions.”

World Health Organization, Global technical strategy for malaria 2016-2030

Our mission: save 100,000 lives

Goodbye Faso Soap, hello MAÏA!

Launched in 2013, the project initially called “Faso Soap” focused on the development of a long-lasting mosquito soap. We have been able to rely on experts in micro-encapsulation, botany, sociology, entomology.

When we learned that 80% of children under 5 receive ointment on their skin every night, we also worked on an ointment. We concluded that a mosquito-repellent ointment would have a greater impact on malaria than soap. The ointment is also used daily as soap and protects more effectively at a lower cost.

MAÏA, the first long-lasting repellent ointment

We have worked in the field with many mothers to formulate an ointment that meets their requirements and preferences. Our challenge: create an ointment that attracts consumers and repels mosquitoes. After a hundred tests, we selected the best candidate and called it MAÏA.

MAÏA is a 2-in-1 ointment designed to offer the whole family double protection:

  • MAÏA deeply moisturizes skin thanks to nourishing shea butter
  • MAÏA protects from mosquitoes for over 3h with safe repellents

Protect from malaria every day

Protect children
The ointment is used routinely on children under 5 in Africa.
at the right place
Ointments are particularly used in places whith difficult access to healthcare services.
at the right time
Ointments are usually used in the evening at 5pm, when Anopheles begin to bite.

Distribuer le savon dans 5 pays permet de toucher 50% de la population à risque.

Our progress

Now that the MAÏA formulation is complete, we are preparing its commercial launch in Burkina Faso, as well as its pre-qualification by WHO as an official vector control product.

We conducted a large survey with the Institute des Sciences des Sociétés of 1,000 households in Burkina Faso. Objective: to better understand the habits of body hygiene and protection against mosquitoes. This survey confirmed that the vast majority of children under 5 were washed with soap in the evening, but then systematically pomaded. This prompted us to take an interest in ointment as a daily tool of protection against malaria.

We performed more than 200 tests to test the efficacy of repellent substances, soaps and ointments. One hundred sensory tests with Burkinabe consumers made it possible to understand their preferences and to identify the best ointment, which we called MAÏA. Our last step is to conduct acute toxicological tests.

The launch of MAÏA is scheduled for the first quarter of 2019. We are working on setting up a women’s sales network for the distribution of our ointment in Burkina Faso, a simple ordering system by SMS and a deposit scheme for our plastic packaging.


We are working to get MAÏA into national malaria control policies. We aim to see our ointment be distributed by states, UN organizations and NGOs. Preliminary step: get MAÏA pre-qualified by WHO. This process requires laboratory and outdoor mosquito efficacy studies as well as acute toxicology studies.


An experienced team on the field

The project relies on a hybrid structure to maximize its impact. The non-profit organization “100,000 Lives” ensures the research and development of the product, as well as impact measurement. The social enterprise “Maïa Africa” intervenes in the marketing and sales of the ointment.

Franck LangevinMarketing, finance, strategy
Franck has been working in the field of innovation for 12 years, in companies such as NAVTEQ (NOKIA) and Mappy. He is Stanford University and Dublin City University graduate in the fields of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and International business.
Gérard NiyondikoResearch & Development
Gérard is an engineer graduated at 2iE engineering school. He also owns a Bachelor in Chemistry, field that he taught for 7 years. He has been technical manager in the beverage industry in Burundi.
Lisa TietiembouStrategic support
Lisa is an ESSEC Business School graduate and active in the fields of social entrepreneurship and innovation in Africa. She supports the project since its inception in 2013.

Our supporting partners

The development of our project could not progress without the essential help of technical and financial partners.

Our technical partners

Our financial partners

In the headlines

Thanks to journalists, our project got attention in many countries over the world.

Let’s keep in touch


Come and follow our adventures. By registering, you will receive regular updates of our project.


For all your enquiries (partnerships, press, etc.), one single address:


We frequently publish there many new information about the MAÏA project.
Like our page!