Human African trypanosomiasis

WHO publishes new guidelines for the treatment of sleeping sickness

8 August 2019 | Geneva --Updated guidelines are now available to facilitate the treatment of people affected by the gambiense form of human African trypanosomiasis – also known as sleeping sickness.

The new guidelines follow the recent approval of an oral medicine, fexinidazole.

Meanwhile, new cases continue to decline reaching historically low levels. There were 977 reported cases of sleeping sickness in 2018 against 1442 in 2017.

Progress on eliminating sleeping sickness as a public health problem

05 December 2018| Geneva -- The latest data released by the World Health Organization (WHO) confirms the sustained decrease in the number of new cases of human African trypanosomiasis (also known as sleeping sickness). A disease that in the 20th century caused devastating epidemics is becoming a rare disease today.
The sustained efforts against HAT of National Control programmes, supported by WHO and a range of committed stakeholders and maintained over the last twenty years enabled dramatically reduction of the prevalence, and the disease is now on track for the WHO elimination goal.

WHO outlines criteria to assess elimination of sleeping sickness

18 July 2018 | Geneva −− A sustained decrease in new number of cases confirms projections that the target to eliminate human African trypanosomiasis (also known as sleeping sickness) as a public health problem by 2020 is achievable.

To be able to certify countries, WHO is developing the criteria needed to assess and evaluate countries claiming to have achieved the required elimination threshold.

In 2017, only 1447 new cases were reported to WHO, as compared with 2184 in 2016 and 9875 cases in 2009.

The world gears-up to eliminate sleeping sickness by 2020

Doctors test for sleeping sickness in a remote Congolese village.
©Neil Brandvold

18 April 2018 | Geneva −− An important meeting of national programme coordinators and stakeholders, which begins today at the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO), aims to further strengthen activities to achieve the elimination of human African trypanosomiasis as public health problem by 2020.

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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Contacts

Dr Jose Ramon Franco
francoj@who.int

Dr Gerardo Priotto
priottog@who.int

Media contact:
Ashok Moloo
molooa@who.int
+41 22 791 1637
+41 79 540 50 86 (mobile)