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"It`s Time to Bite Back Against Mosquitoes"
Wednesday, 2022/10/05 | 08:40:15

British doctor Ronald Ross discovered that female mosquitoes transmitted malaria to humans more than a hundred years ago. Today, millions of lives are still lost due to malaria and the mosquitoes that spread it. Since 2000, global partnerships have saved more than 10.6 million lives from malaria. However, progress has recently been stalled in malaria-burdened countries, with 627,000 malaria deaths recorded in 2020, mostly among African children under five years of age.

 

On September 21, global leaders met and discussed current malaria prevention and eradication work. They stepped up their pledges during the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and malaria's seventh replenishment, hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden in New York. They agreed to address urgent threats to eliminate malaria. The leaders in attendance have pointed out that it is now time to bite back against mosquitoes. In Africa, insecticide spraying and bed nets are now less effective. Malaria parasites have also developed resistance to artemisinin-based drugs, the current most efficacious and first-line medicines used to treat malaria patients.

 

The leaders also agree that constant innovation is needed to stay ahead of the mosquitoes. The parasite and the mosquitoes that transmit it constantly evolve, adapting to new threats and resisting even the most effective tools. To fight malaria, it is essential to invest in constant innovation, such as gene drive and Attractive Targeted Sugar Baits (ATSBs), to efficiently target the deployment of existing tools and accelerate progress. There is no silver bullet to fight malaria, but a diverse toolbox of innovative tools and approaches will help end malaria for good. Lastly, a successful Global Fund replenishment is crucial, and the R&D efforts have demonstrated this in fighting COVID-19. The pandemic also showed what can be achieved with the right commitments.

 

For more details, read the opinion article of Dr. Corine Karema at DevEx.

https://www.isaaa.org/kc/cropbiotechupdate/gdn/article/default.asp?ID=19761

 

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