Uganda and Djibouti seek Friendly mosquitoes to fight malaria

Richard Wetaya,  Alliance for Science,  2024.

In the last nine years, Uganda has participated in preliminary activities for prospective field testing of gene-drive mosquitoes, which studies have shown can control malaria mosquito populations. This year, the country is looking to continue on that path by conducting controlled laboratory test trials of the Friendly mosquito technology developed by the British biotechnology company Oxitec. In early January, the Daily Express, a Ugandan Online News website, reported that Oxitec was interested in partnering with Uganda’s Health Ministry and the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) to develop non-biting, self-limiting, and non-persistent male mosquitoes to fight malaria.

It was also reported that Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, who has yet to sign the country’s Genetic Engineering Regulatory Bill, supported the partnership. He expressed his support after the Oxitec team, led by CEO Grey Frandsen, briefed him on the technology at his residence in Rwakitura, Kiruhura District, Western Uganda.

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