As the research on gene drives technologies for malaria control and elimination efforts advances, it is crucial to ensure that African stakeholders are adequately engaged and involved to ensure that the technologies are applicable to malaria control needs and context in Africa.

A study led by Dr. Lina Finda aimed to explore insights and recommendations of key stakeholders across Africa on the potential of gene drives modified mosquitoes (GDMMs) for malaria control and elimination in the continent.

L to R: Africa Regional Mesh Coordinator and Co Authors DR Lina FInda and Ms. Najat Kahamba.

L to R: Africa Regional Mesh Coordinator and Co Authors DR Lina FInda and Ms. Najat Kahamba.

A survey questionnaire and in-depth discussions were done with stakeholders across 25 African countries. The Stakeholders represented diverse backgrounds including research and academia, regulatory agencies, government ministries, as well as media and advocacy groups.

The study revealed relatively high general awareness of GDMMs, however, the knowledge on the mechanisms for malaria control was relatively low. 

The stakeholders provided a list of recommendations on how GDMMs could best respond to Africa’s malaria control and elimination needs. These included the need to:

  1.  Build and enhance knowledge and expertise to research and monitoring of GDMMs among African stakeholders.
  2.  Provide country-specific evidence on safety, efficacy, applicability and feasibility of GDMMs for malaria control and elimination in African context. 
  3.  Develop country-specific regulations and guidelines for efficient governance of GDMMs.
  4.  Follow country-specific governance structures to effectively engage stakeholders and publics.

Conclusively, this study emphasizes the importance of incorporating views and recommendations of African stakeholders in the ongoing research and development of GDMMs,  to ensure their confidence on the potential of these technologies in solving Africa’s enduring malaria challenge. 

Read the atricle here.


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