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Africa University tackles malaria

05 Oct, 2019 - 00:10 0 Views
Africa University tackles malaria Mr Stephene Chikozho

The Herald

Takunda Maodza Manicaland Bureau Chief

AFRICA University (AU) has vowed to complement Government efforts in fighting malaria through cutting edge research and has set its sights on completing the Malaria Research Insectory this year.

The Malaria Research Insectory is laboratory housing of mosquitoes for study purposes.

It is meant to study mosquitoes that cause malaria and is part of a broader effort by the malaria initiative to reduce malaria related mortality by 15 percent across 15 high countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

The malaria initiative has, through Africa University, established a molecular surveillance facility which feeds technical data to the Ministry of Health and Child Care to guide malaria control.

Africa University Director Advancement and Public Affairs Mr Stephene Chikozho told The Herald that they were putting final touches to the malaria research complex.

“It is expected to be completed by end of 2019,” he said.

“The structure is estimated to cost US$200 000. Currently we are left with the finishing touches, but the rooms that have been completed already have laboratory equipment installed and the equipment is already in use.

“Other equipment at the first laboratory is worth US$850 000. This structure is called the Malaria Research Insectory.”

Mr Chikozho said Africa University was fully aware of the role universities must play in solving some of the problems society faces.

“To this end, Africa University is producing cutting edge research findings and recommendations for policy makers on environment, disaster management, peace, leadership and governance, organisational transformation, change management, public health, agriculture and others,” he said.

Africa University is home to the largest insect reference unit in the country from which precious information and data are mined and compiled that ultimately feeds into key decision- making and public health interventions in the country to contain and treat incidences of malaria.

It is engaged in ground-breaking research to combat malaria in partnership with the US Agency for International Development and the Ministry of Health and Child Care.

The malaria initiative has, through Africa University, established a molecular surveillance facility which feeds technical data to the Ministry of Health and Child Care to guide malaria control.

The university now provides Government with reference material for Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) quality control and is in the final stages of establishing a national referencing insectory for research.

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