Minister of Research of Burkina Faso compliments Target Malaria

Posted 18th March 2024 by Professor Abdoulaye Diabaté

On Friday the 15th of March, Target Malaria Burkina Faso team was honoured to have a ministerial visit from Professor Adjima Thiombiano, Minister of Research at the Institute of Research for Health Sciences (Institut de recherche en sciences de la santé) in Bobo-Dioulasso. Professor Thombiano has served as the Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation for the past year, and with his academic background in ecology, we were able to have some provoking discussions about the entomological research that we do in the context of Target Malaria. 

As the Principal Investigator of Target Malaria Burkina Faso, I have an overview of the project, and was able to present some of our research methods and findings on how the use of genetically modified mosquitoes could be a key component in malaria eradication in the future. I was joined by Dr Léa Paré Toé, our Stakeholder Engagement Lead, who detailed the efforts that we make to inform local communities about our research t, ensure that we have their agreement for these activities to take place, and involve them in our decision-making processes. 

The Minister was pleased to see the calibre of care taken in the lab, as well as the consideration with which we approach local stakeholders. None of this progress would have been possible without the dedicated and capable team that has put us at the forefront of this fight. I am glad to have the approval of the Ministry and our Government to pursue this innovative research. Burkina Faso is a pioneer in the field of research on genetically modified mosquitoes. The country is leading the way in gene drive technology and hopes to be the first country in the world to field trial gene drive mosquitoes in a few years.   

There is not one single solution to the malaria endemic, but if we continue to invest in innovative research methods, and nurture local talents to create efficient health systems, there is no doubt that we can achieve our goal of malaria eradication in Africa. 

Professor Adjima Thiombiano, Minister of Research visiting the Institute of Research for Health Sciences (Institut de recherche en sciences de la santé).