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Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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MRC inaugurates insectary to enhance fight against malaria

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By Tabora Bojang

Medical Research Council the Gambia inaugurated a newly refurbished insectary at Fajara that will ensure the formation and development of insect colonies for scientists to study mosquitoes, the diseases they carry, the efficacy and susceptibility of drugs, insecticides and more.

The insectary is designed with rearing and artificial feeding facilities under a controlled laboratory temperature.

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It will among others rear, develop and reproduce mosquitoes and ensure they maintain levels required for research and testing.

The insectary will further support drug and vaccine trials, infection studies and other entomological investigations aimed at decreasing transmissions. Officials disclosed that it will rear 20,000 mosquitos monthly.

According to Dr Mamadou Ndiath, a senior MRC official, the new refurbished lab will further enhance research on different breeds of mosquitoes, their different variance in transmissions and other scientific precautions.

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“We need such a platform where you grow different mosquitoes and infect them with parasites and see how long the evolution of the parasite will take inside them. In vector control insecticides are used and every 2-3 years you need to know whether the insecticides are resistant or not, having this platform will help on that. We will also be able to receive university students to practice entomology, identify mosquitoes and determine the different types of mechanism of resistance using other tools like molecular biology.” Dr. Ndiath added.

Alfusainey Manneh, a representative from the National Malaria Control Program under the Ministry of Health, stated that insects play a crucial role in the transmission of various diseases, and by studying their biology and behavior, we can better understand how to combat these threats to public health.

He expressed optimism that the facility will enable researchers to study insect-borne diseases more effectively and develop new strategies for prevention and control of diseases particularly malaria.

“I would like to express my gratitude to all the scientists, technicians, and staff who have worked tirelessly to make this insectary a reality. Your hard work and dedication are truly commendable. Together ,we can pioneer innovative solutions, develop new tools and strategies and ultimately alleviate the burden of these diseases on the vulnerable population.”

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