Human African trypanosomiasis

First WHO stakeholders meeting on gambiense human African trypanosomiasis elimination

Declaration for the elimination of gambiense human African trypanosomiasis

28 March 2014 | Geneva
Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), commonly known as sleeping sickness, has been one of the great scourges of mankind. The incidence of gambiense HAT, which had been brought to virtual elimination in the 1960s, surged to epidemic proportions by the end of the 20th century. Efforts towards intervention in this disease over the past decade have enjoyed remarkable success with incidence falling by over 90%. New tools to diagnose and treat the disease and to control the vector are becoming available, and unprecedented political will has led to the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring a programme of global elimination of this disease at a meeting in Geneva on 25-27 March 2014.

WHO included HAT in its roadmap for elimination and control of neglected tropical diseases in 2012, setting a date of 2020 to eliminate the disease as a public health problem. An Expert Committee met in April 2013 and approved a strategy to eliminate the disease, subsequently endorsed by the World Health Assembly in a resolution adopted in 2013 (WHA66.12), providing an international mandate to work towards elimination.

The stakeholders present at the meeting making this declaration included national sleeping sickness control programmes, groups developing new tools to fight HAT, international and non-governmental organizations involved in control and donors. The meeting decided to establish a network under WHO leadership to ensure coordinated, strengthened and sustained efforts to eliminate the disease. The stakeholders appeal to the international community and disease endemic countries for their commitment, political support and essential resources to achieve the elimination goal.

Organizations represented at the first stakeholders meeting on gambiense HAT elimination having adopted this declaration:

  • National Sleeping Sickness National Control Programmes (SSNCP) of the Ministries of Health of:
    • Angola
    • Cameroon
    • Central African Republic
    • Chad
    • Côte d’Ivoire
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo
    • Guinea
    • Republic of South Sudan
    • Uganda
  • International organizations:
    • African Union Commission (AU) / Pan African Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Eradication Campaign (PATTEC)
    • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
    • International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
    • Programme Against African Trypanosomosis (PAAT)
    • Word Health Organization Strategic and Technical Advisory Group on Neglected Tropical Diseases (WHO NTD STAG)
    • World Health Organization (WHO)
  • Donors:
    • Bayer HealthCare
    • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF)
    • Sanofi
    • The Wellcome Trust, London
  • Foundations and NGOs involved in HAT:
    • Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi)
    • Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND)
    • Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), including MSF Access Campaign
  • Scientific institutions developing new tools to fight HAT:
    • Erasmus MC, Department of Public Health, University Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
    • Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale (INRB) Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
    • Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), Montpellier, France
    • Institute of Infection and Global Health, University of Liverpool, U.K.
    • Interdepartmental Research Centre for Neglected Diseases, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium
    • Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), Liverpool, U.K.
    • Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
    • Spatial Ecology & Epidemiology Group (SEEG), University of Oxford, U.K.
    • Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (STPHI), Basel, Switzerland
    • University of Glasgow, U.K.
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