Human African trypanosomiasis

Partnership and WHO network for elimination

© 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.

Public-Private Partnership

In May 2001, the joint international efforts, public awareness, and strong leadership of WHO led the pharmaceutical company Aventis to commit to the donation to WHO of a five year contribution of three specific drugs for sleeping sickness treatment and financial support to strengthen control and surveillance at national level.

In October 2006 Sanofi-Aventis renewed its contribution and expanded it to include several neglected tropical diseases in a 5-year partnership with WHO.
In October 2009 Bayer expanded its donation of suramin to nifurtimox.
In 2011, Sanofi-Aventis extended to 2016 its support to fight some of the most neglected tropical diseases, included sleeping sickness.

In 2016 Sanofi renewed its collaboration and Bayer increases its financial support for control activities.

WHO Collaborating Centers

In 2009 the Parasite Diagnostics Unit, Department of Parasitology of the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp was nominated as WHO collaborating centre for Research and Training on human African trypanosomiasis diagnostics.

In 2010 the Unité de Recherche 177 of the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) based in the Centre International de Recherche et Développement sur l'Elevage en zones Subhumides (CIRDES) in Bobo Diulaso, Burkina Faso, was nominated as a WHO collaborating center for research on host/vector/parasite interactions in the epidemiology of human African trypanosomiasis.

WHO HAT elimination network

In March 2014, the World Health Organization convened a meeting of the main stakeholders working to fight gambiense human African trypanosomiasis (g-HAT) to analyse the current situation, the challenges to elimination and the needs for research, in order to reinforce the commitment to elimination and strengthen the mechanisms of collaboration through a structured network of stakeholders.

The outcome was the establishment of a network to facilitate effective support to drive and coordinate activities for the elimination of g-HAT.

The network comprises three groups: Scientific and Technical Consultative Group, Country Coordination Meeting and Implementation Coordination Group, which provide effective support for driving and coordinating activities in the elimination process. Due to the complexity and specificity of the topics, the Implementation Coordination Group has been divided into several specific thematic subgroups: (a) Development of New Tools, (b) Integration of New Tools into National and Global Policies, (c) Operational Research, (d) Ad-hoc Country Coordination and (e) Advocacy and financial resources mobilization.

The same structures were applied for rhodesiense human African trypanosomiasis (r-HAT) following a stakeholders meeting (October 2014).