Human African trypanosomiasis


A strong collaboration

© Maciej Dakowicz

WHO runs its control and surveillance programme in close collaboration with a number of international organizations, research institutions, development agencies, NGOs and private firms.

To ensure that sleeping sickness control be taken in its broader context of rural development, WHO has established a comprehensive programme known as the 'Programme Against African Trypanosomiasis' (PAAT).

This programme is run in conjunction with other specialized United Nations agencies

PAAT enables WHO to look at the impact of the disease on overall rural development, including cattle production, farming and the economic and social welfare of the population.

WHO has established another close partnership with the Pan African Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Eradication Campaign (PATTEC). This follows an initiative by African Heads of State and Government who embarked in 2000 on a collective tsetse eradication campaign and rid the continent of the human and animal trypanosomoses.

International Organizations further collaborate with national authorities of disease endemic countries to assist them in combating the disease through the development of appropriate policies and strategies, promoting field activities, implementing training and when required and possible provide some financial assistance.

Foundations and Research Institutions promote or perform fundamental or practical research on the disease, the parasite and the vector. They develop new drugs or tools to manage, diagnose and treat patients and work on new methods for vector control to interrupt transmission.

Bilateral agencies have also shown an interest in providing direct assistance to national governments of endemic countries to implement field activities aimed at reducing disease impact. This is usually done through the implementation of control and surveillance projects in collaboration with national structures. In the current epidemiological framework and considering the different priorities and strategies of bilateral cooperation, the majority of HAT control support programme have been stopped in the last years. Nowadays only one bilateral agency Directorate-General for Development Cooperation (DGDC) of Belgium has specific support to HAT control.

Non-governmental Organizations concerned with health and emergencies have intervened where trypanosomiasis took epidemic proportions. These organizations establish projects which provide expertise, logistics and financial support to implement control operations. Different organizations have supported HAT control in the last years (Malteser, International Medical Corps, Angotrip/Caritas, Medicus Mundi, Norwegian Peoples Aid …) but as it has happened with bilateral cooperation, the majority of NGOs gradually stopped their activities in HAT control.

Private partners are firms concerned with the welfare and development of affected population and often offer equipment, material or drugs. They contribute in kind (drugs), coupled with financial support.

Human African trypanosomiasis in the news

14 January 2015 | Geneva
French version of Control and surveillance of human African trypanosomiasis. Report of a WHO Expert Committee (TRS N°984)

06 January 2015 | Geneva
First WHO stakeholders meeting on gambiense human African trypanosomiasis elimination, Geneva, 25–27 March 2014

22 October 2014 | Geneva
First WHO stakeholders meeting on rhodesiense human African trypanosomiasis elimination

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