By Dr Dickson W. Lwetoijera, Ifakara Health Institute

Transmission Zero, a global malaria research programme led by scientists at Imperial College London and the Ifakara Health Institute, in partnership with the Tanzanian National Institute of Medical Research, is proud to announce the generation of the first transgenic mosquito strain to be made in Africa. The strain carries a genetic modification that makes the mosquitoes unable to transmit malaria. This scientific breakthrough is significant because it paves the way for the potential addition of new tools to aid existing efforts to fight the disease on the continent.

Malaria poses a huge burden on humanity with hundreds of thousands of deaths every year, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. According to the 2022 World Malaria Report, there were an estimated 247 million malaria cases in 2021, 95% of them in Africa. An estimated 619,000 people died from malaria in 2021, mostly children under the age of five.