Malaria Gene Drives: A Battle Of Wit Between The Government And Stakeholders

O. Onwumere,  The Nigerian Voice,  2022.

Through the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), guidelines for gene editing, primarily in agriculture, were approved by the Nigerian Federal Government in December 2020. As the first country in Africa, the government was praised for taking the momentous step of establishing guidelines for gene editing. The government sees science and technology as major drivers of agricultural productivity, as stated in the approved guidelines. This is due to the fact that the technology is guaranteed to be safe and won’t harm the environment or human health. Scientists and non-governmental organizations have nonetheless refused to support the use of genetically engineered bacteria to eradicate malaria-carrying mosquitoes despite the government’s actions. The reason was that a doctor from Nigeria who didn’t want his name published said that gene-editing technology needs to be looked at carefully because there have been failed reports in some African countries, like Burkina Faso, where modified mosquitoes were released and people got bit by them


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