Human African trypanosomiasis

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.

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.

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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Fighting Neglect: Sleeping Sickness ©MSF

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