Human African trypanosomiasis

WHO: eliminating sleeping sickness as a public health problem is on track

©Franco Minguell .J.R/WHO. Laboratory technicians performing
tests for sleeping sickness during a campaign in DRC

14 June 2017 | Geneva –– Uninterrupted control activities, improved surveillance and reinforced passive case-finding have resulted in the sustained decrease in new cases of human African trypanosomiasis (also known as sleeping sickness).

There were only 2184 new cases reported in 2016, as compared with fewer than 5000 in 2014 and 10000 in 2009.

Sleeping sickness: WHO scales-up data management training amid record low cases

©Ruiz Postigo J. A.
Member of a mobile laboratory team proceeding with the puncture
of lymph nodes for microscopic detection of trypanosomes

10 August 2016 | Geneva –– Over the past 15 years, WHO-supported national control programmes have substantially decreased new cases of human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) largely through the application of existing control tools.

To sustain progress, WHO is supporting the training of health officers in data analysis and mapping.

The aim is to expand knowledge on the management of information on the occurrence and geographical distribution of the disease.

Lowest caseload recorded as the world prepares to defeat sleeping sickness

© A. Ybarra Zavala/Getty images
Novel medicines and diagnostic tools:
crucial to eliminating sleeping sickness

16 April 2016 | Geneva -- Human African trypanosomiasis or HAT (also known as sleeping sickness) could be eliminated as a public health problem by 2020 if progress is sustained.

Gambiense HAT, the commonest form of the infection in humans, has reached its lowest level since the disease was targeted for elimination as a public health problem in WHO’s 2012 roadmap on neglected tropical diseases.

Stakeholders call on WHO to lead a network aimed at elimination of human African trypanosomiasis

28 March 2014 | Geneva -- A meeting of stakeholders in Geneva agrees that a coordinated, strengthened and sustained effort is needed to eliminate human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) as a public health problem by 2020.

To achieve this target, a WHO-led network will work to harmonize activities of national sleeping sickness control programmes, groups developing new tools, international and non-governmental organizations and donors. The meeting took place in Geneva on 25–27 March 2014.

Gambiense HAT is a risk in 24 countries; rhodesiense HAT in 13 countries (one country has both HAT forms)- Learn more


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