- Target disease: HAT
- Main partners (since project start): National Trypanosomiasis Control Programme, DRC; Epicentre, France; Médecins Sans Frontières, Switzerland; Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Switzerland; Ministry of Health, DRC; HAT Platform.
- Project start: May 2004
- Funding (since project start): Department for International Development (DFID), UK; French Development Agency (AFD), France; Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors without Borders, International; Medicor Foundation, Liechtenstein; Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (MAEE), France; Republic and Canton of Geneva, International Solidarity Office, Switzerland; Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), Spain; Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Switzerland.
NECT, a co-administration of intravenous eflornithine and oral nifurtimox, was developed by Epicentre, MSF, DNDi, Swiss TPH, and the national HAT control programmes of the Republic of the Congo and DRC. After inclusion in the WHO Essential Medicines List in 2009 and extended to the List for children in 2013, it quickly became the first-line treatment for second stage g-HAT. NECT has been a game-changer in the treatment of sleeping sickness – it has reduced the number of eflornithine infusions required, compared to when it is used as a monotherapy, from 56 to 14. More importantly, however, it has had a major impact on patients, by removing the fear of treatment they had when the only option was melarsoprol, a product so toxic that it killed up to 5% of all patients who received it.
With the recommendation of NECT as first-line treatment in all endemic countries, all of which receive free supplies from WHO via drug donations by Sanofi and Bayer, 100% of HAT stage 2 patients are now treated with NECT.
Last update: February 2017