Human African Trypanosomiasis, more commonly known as sleeping sickness, is a deadly parasitic disease transmitted by the tsetse fly. The disease is present in 36 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, which places more than 70 million people at risk. Global efforts to control the disease have brought its elimination within reach: 2016 reported the lowest number of sleeping sickness cases ever recorded.
The Shefa Fund supported the implementation of new technologies to control the tsetse fly population that transmits the disease. Traps and targets can be used to either collect tsetse flies for observation and research, or to kill the flies with insecticides to reduce their population.
tsetse fly traps deployed in Chad per year
tsetse fly traps deployed in Uganda per year
people protected from sleeping sickness
The Shefa Fund’s $204,000 grant enabled the Liverpool School to pilot “targets” in Chad and Uganda that trapped tsetse flies responsible for spreading sleeping sickness. Tsetse fly populations were reduced by over 90 percent. Estimates indicated that 1.05 million people were protected from sleeping sickness due to this intervention.
The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine is the oldest research and teaching organization in the field of tropical medicine. They work in more than 70 countries, applying research innovations to improve the health of the world’s poorest people.
1 Banner, 2 Combating Sleeping Sickness, 3 & 4 Granting | Photo Credit Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation