Biotech Giant Oxitec Joins Forces with Ugandan Lab to Eradicate Malaria

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Oxitec is set to partner with Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) to combat malaria in the country.

Oxitec is a leading biotechnology company that develops safe, sustainable biological vector control solutions.

This was revealed on Tuesday, January 9, 2024, during a meeting between President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and Grey Frandsen, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Oxitec, at his country home in Rwakitura, Kiruhura District.

The President welcomed Oxitec to Uganda and supported their idea of partnering with UVRI to combat malaria in the country.

“Today, l welcomed Mr. Grey Frandsen, the CEO of Oxitec, a leading biotech company. I was glad to hear from him that they are teaming up with the UVRI to combat malaria,” the President said.

He promised to provide the institution with all of the resources it needs to come up with a solution to fight the life-threatening disease.

Grey informed the President that the Anopheles funestus is a major malaria vector in Sub-Saharan Africa.

He added that there is no static solution for this vector, but it is critical in cyclic transmission all year and thus requires immediate attention.

Grey went on to say that Oxitec hopes to form a unique public-private partnership with the Ugandan government, the first of its kind in Africa.

According to WHO, Uganda has the world’s highest malaria incidence rate of 478 cases per 1,000 population per year. It is also the leading cause of sickness and death in Uganda and is responsible for up to 40 percent of all outpatient visits, 25 percent of hospital admissions and 14 percent of all hospital deaths. The malaria death rate in Uganda is estimated to be between 70,000 and 100,000 deaths per year.

The meeting was also attended by the Minister of Health, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, Prof. Pontiano Kaleebu, the Director- UVRI, Dr. Joseph Okware, and the Director of Health Services in the Ministry of Health, among others.

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