Ghana researching into malaria resistance genes

The Navrongo Health Research Centre in the Upper East Region, is undertaking a study aimed at identifying the genes in individuals that protect them against malaria.The collaborative study, known as the Malaria Genome Epidemiology Network, is made up of a global consortium comprising 12 institutions in malaria endemic countries across the globe and is led by researchers from the Oxford University in the United Kingdom.Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania, The Gambia, Papua New Guinea and Mali are among countries taking part in the research, which would assist in the development of malaria vaccines.About 180 families in the Kassena-Nankana district in the Upper East Region are to participate in the research. Mr Lucas Amengo-Etego, a Research Fellow at the Navrongo Health Research Centre told journalists from the African Media and Malaria Research Network (AMMREN), who were on a tour of the centre, that genes have a lot to do with the control of malaria. He said some people were more susceptible to the disease than others because individuals respond differently to infections from the malaria parasite.The journalists were in the Upper East and Northern Regions to assess the health status of the population, with particular attention to malaria, following the floods, which hit the northern parts of the country.The Malaria Clinical Trials Alliance, (MCTA) an African-led institution established to build capacity in the fight against malaria sponsored the trip.MCTA is currently leading a research into the development of a malaria vaccine in nine African countries, including Ghana. They have targeted 2011 for the introduction of the vaccine.

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