HUMAN AFRICAN TRYPANOSOMIASIS / SLEEPING SICKNESS
"He was weak, he slept all day – even during meals. I knew that when people sleep all the time, they could have sleeping sickness so we went to the hospital."
In 2011, Placide suffered a severe bout of sleeping sickness that came close to killing him. He was diagnosed with stage-2 HAT - when the parasites attack the brain - and was treated with NECT, which required more than two weeks in hospital. He was cured, but his family and doctors believe he has long-term neurological effects from the illness.
“There is still something not ‘right’ with him. He is very anxious and can’t continue at school, I’ve had to pull him out. He doesn’t have any friends,” said his mother.
Asked if he remembers his treatment, Placide nods and points to his lower back, where he received a lumbar puncture.
Today Placide is 11 years old and sits
in his family’s courtyard, endlessly
chipping away at a piece of wood,
not far from the site of DND
In 2009, DND
The development of new all-oral treatments would enable patients to be treated immediately, potentially at home, and would provide the tools needed to reach and sustain HAT elimination. If successful, this would represent a fundamental shift in disease management.
- Caused by two subspecies:
Trypanosoma brucei gambiense(g-HAT, comprising 98% of reported cases) and T. b. rhodesiense (r-HAT)
- Humans are a reservoir for g-HAT; animals are a reservoir for r-HAT
- Transmitted by the bite of a tsetse fly
- Occurs in two stages: stage-1, often un- or misdiagnosed due to non-specific symptoms (headaches, chills), and stage-2, the late stage where the parasite crosses the blood-brain barrier, causing serious neurological disorders including sleep cycle disruptions, neurological manifestations, and progressive mental deterioration
- Fatal without effective treatment
- WHO Roadmap objective: to eliminate HAT as a public health issue by 2020
estimated to live in areas at moderate to very high risk
people at risk
of g-HAT reported in 2017
g-HAT endemic in West & Central Africa
of r-HAT reported in 2016
r-HAT endemic in Eastern and Southern Africa