New specie of mosquito just discovered may worsen malaria scourge in African countries
There is a risk of Kenya losing gains made in the fight against malaria after a new species of mosquito, which spreads the disease was discovered in the country.
The species – Anopheles Stephensi – was discovered by researchers at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri), in collaboration with the Ministry of Health’s Division of National Malaria Programme (DNMP).
The species was detected in Laisamis and Saku sub-counties in Marsabit, and later confirmed at Kemri laboratory.
In a statement, KEMRI noted that the species, which spreads fast, was discovered during routine mosquito surveillance.
“Kemri and the Ministry of Health have put in place efforts in research activities in Laimsamis and Saku Sub counties of Marsabit County where the anopheles stephansi vector samples were first detected and confirmed through laboratory essays at Kemri,” reads a section of a report by Kemri.
Kenya becomes the sixth country on the African continent to have the invasion of the species.
Countries, where an invasion of the mosquito species has been reported, include Djibouti, Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia, and Nigeria.
Experts at the institution have warned that the discovery of the species might cause a surge in cases and deaths.