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K.O. Gyening1


The FAO Trypanosomiasis Programme identified shortage of trained and experienced personnel as a major constraint to the implementation of the Programme, from the very beginning. It has, therefore, since its inception, continued to place high priority on training in order to strengthen national capabilities to plan and implement control projects and programmes.

Tsetse and trypanosomiasis control must be based on a thorough knowledge of the problem and its magnitude and the socio-economic goals that individual nations wish to achieve in resolving the problem. Furthermore, it must depend on a sound technical strategy which would include improving national field and research capabilities for controlling the disease and its vector.

In many countries the tsetse and trypanosomiasis problem has been exacerbated by population pressure which has forced pastoralists deeper into high-risk areas with increasing risk of infestation. Partly as a result of this incursion of man and his animals into fly habitats there are indications that fly populations are increasing and that some flybelts are currently expanding.

For these reasons many affected Governments have now been persuaded to establish tsetse and trypanosomiasis control units and associated bodies to deal with the problem. These institutions need to be staffed with trained and competent personnel of different grades and categories so that the problem can be tackled through an integrated approach.

A wide range of disciplines are required in tsetse and trypanosomiasis control. They include, in the main, entomology, veterinary, medicine, cartography, interpretation of aerial photographs and knowledge and experience of many specialized techniques.

For most of these disciplines formal education is necessary to provide appropriate basic qualifications. However, on-the-job training and in-service training are essential to develop the necessary skills. Furthermore, while there is a great need for experienced professional tsetse and trypanosomiasis control personnel, there is a much greater demand for specialized middle-level personnel who carry out the arduous tasks in the field.

1 Animal Health Officer
Regional Office for Africa (RAFR)
P.O. Box 1628
Accra - Ghana

The priority and approach given to the control of tsetse and trypanosomiasis differs from country to country in accordance with their incidence, their impact on the national economy and the human and financial resources available for dealing with them. In most countries the main emphasis is on control using trypanocidal drugs with vector control playing a minor role. In other countries, notably Zimbabwe, there is a policy of progressive tsetse eradication and the use of trypanocides has diminished as vector control has progressed.

Furthermore, the approach to tsetse and trypanosomiasis control has changed over the years as a result of changes in control techniques, a better understanding of the disease, disease and vector epidemiology and modification of the fly habitat by the action of man and natural hazards such as drought and desertification.

Also, partly due to environmental considerations vector control methods are shifting from the spraying of insecticides to the use of odour-baited targets and cattle treated with persistent insecticides. In addition, the general objectives of tsetse control have shifted from tsetse eradication over large areas to reduction of fly and disease challenge in small-scale operations related to specific communities and livestock requirements.

There is the need, therefore, to modify training performance and curricula in order to produce trainees who will be more responsive to these changing needs in the field.

The need to adapt training courses to the changing situation in the field was endorsed by the Commission on African Animal Trypanosomiasis (AAT) at its Fourth Session in Ouagadougou in 1986, by the Panels of Experts at their joint session in Accra in 1988 and by the Workshop on Training Aspects of the FAO Programme held in Lomé in December 1990.


A recent report by an FAO consultant on Training aspects of the Trypanosomiasis Programme indicates that training within the overall context of the Programme has been seriously constrained by:

  1. inadequacy of funding;

  2. imbalance in resource allocation for training in animal selection as compared to tsetse control, especially in West Africa;

  3. current uncertainties concerning:

    1. the future of l'Ecole de Lutte Anti Tsetse (ELAT) which ceased operating in 1984;

    2. temporary closure in 1990 of the SADCC Regional Training Centre in Lusaka;

    3. the status of national training courses.

2.1 Middle-Level Training

L'Ecole de Lutte Anti-Tsetse (ELAT)

ELAT, which has been the only institution offering training in tsetse control technology to francophone personnel, ceased to operate in 1984 following the cessation of funding support. Its role in tsetse control technology in West Africa had been most important and the gap left by its closure is the more serous since the resources of the Regional Training Centre (RTC) in Lusaka are now concentrated on the SADCC countries.

Prospects for ELATS's resuscitation depend presently on the outcome of current initiatives to establish its parent institute the Centre de Recherche Trypanosomiase Animale (CRTA) as a regional centre.

ITC and FAO/UNDP (West Africa)

The FAO/UNDP project RAF/88/100 (Promotion of Trypanotolerant Livestock in West and Central Africa) collaborates with the International Trypanotolerance Centre (ITC) to carry out national and sub-regional training courses on animal production and health and offers study tours for selected individuals.

The SADCC Regional Training Centre

The Centre started as project RAF/75/001 “Animal Trypanosomiasis control: Training and Applied research in Glossina Control in the dry Savannah Zones” which terminated in February 1985. It ran annually a 6 month dry season training course.

The training programme of RAF/75/001 was continued and expanded by its successor Project “SADCC Regional Training Centre for middle-Level Personnel for the Control of African Animal Trypanosomiasis” RAF/85/015.

The main activities of this centre have included:

In the eleven years of operation the centre has trained 150 people from 17 different countries on the annual 6 month courses and 88 people from 11 countries on short courses.

Present arrangements at the centre show a disproportionate advantage for the SADCC countries in the allocation of places on the main course. Eighteen places out of a total of 23 are reserved for SADCC trainees each year, leaving only 5 places for the rest of tsetse infested Africa. This problem has been noted by the Preferential Trade Area (PTA) Secretariat in Lusaka which has initiated action on a possible ten-year project to begin in 1992. Among the proposals is an output of 30 middle-level personnel per annum for ten years and at least one short course to each country in the region. If this is achieved it could go far towards meeting Africa's middle-level training requirements, if equitable distribution of the centre's resources could be realized.

According to present plans, the operation of the Lusaka Centre will be taken over by SADCC after a two-year extension when it will then become a SADCC financed and operated project thus further throwing into doubt the fate of non-SADCC students for whom there is currently no comparable source of training.

National Courses

Some countries, including Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Côte d'Ivoire, have established middle-level tsetse control training programmes to meet their own needs.

2.2 Professional Level

Two parallel postgraduate training courses of 6 to 7 months duration are conducted for francophone and anglophone personnel. These take place in France/Burkina Faso and in UK/Zambia/Zimbabwe respectively. The courses were initially intended to be annual but their frequency has been considerably reduced.

Post-graduate fellowships are also offered on an ad hoc basis by ILRAD, ICIPE, ODA, RTC Lusaka, ITC, UNDP/FAO Project RAF/88/100, and several universities outside Africa. The biennial ISCTRC Meeting is also preceded by a training seminar of one-week duration.

Proposals for an MSc. course based on the universities of Zimbabwe and/or Zambia are being considered for implementation.

2.3 Constraints

One of the objectives of training programmes should be to train trainees who would pass on the knowledge they have acquired to junior personnel on return to their duty stations. However, this can only be achieved in situations where teaching facilities and material are available to ex-trainees at their duty stations. Paucity of senior personnel engaged on a full-time basis on tsetse/trypanosomiasis control programmes in many countries also limits severely the training opportunities that can be offered within the programmes.

Other constraints to training that need to be addressed relate to:

  1. difficulties some departments have in releasing staff for the full training period of courses of long duration;

  2. offering training to some students in ecological conditions very different from their own;

  3. providing uniform training to students with different levels of qualifications and experience.


3.1 Quality and Numbers

The middle-level courses given at RTC Lusaka and ELAT appear to have produced a steady and substantial turnout of competent field staff. This is the conclusion of the FAO consultant. Data to support this view are presented in the table below:

a) Trainee Output

Training InstituteNo. of Regular Course
No. of Short in-Country
ELAT (1976–1982)114--
RTC Lusaka (1980–1989)15098 (1986–1990)

b) Based on questionnaire return from 45 trainees the percentage of trainees subsequently deployed on techniques convened by the course and those that have since been promoted is as follows:

Promoted since trainingSurveyTargetsGround SprayAerial SprayTrypsDisseccationMaps/Aerial Photo

What these figures do not reveal is:

  1. the proportion of each trainee's time spent on these techniques;

  2. the amount of time spent idle or on duties unrelated to tsetse and trypanosomiasis control;

  3. what changes, if any, are occuring in the field and at what rate.

Field reports indicate that while the trainees may have had adequate training in appropriate technologies, many lack experience in field work and team management.

3.2 Trainee Impact

Trainee impact is inextricably related to the support given to tsetse and trypanosomiasis control by governments and the availability of funding for project activities. With the notable exception of Zimbabwe it is reported that staff impact has been seriously depressed by lack of inputs. However, this situation is likely to improve as donors begin to accept new methods of vector control based on target technology and community participation.

Training provision in livestock production, however, appears to be well catered for in 19 West and Central African countries under the aegis of Project RAF/88/100.


As stated before, the training needs of different countries varies according to their situation. SADCC RTC Lusaka report that this is reflected in the varied requests received at the centre and no doubt the same will be true for the other training institutions. For example, many countries urgently need some training for as many persons as possible in a situation where there are few trained staff at the beginning of a project. On the other hand, countries with on-going control projects might only need intensive specialist training with as little disruption to the on-going work programme as possible. Furthermore, while some countries prefer longer more exhaustive training courses for few selected candidates, there is an increasing demand from others for short courses.

These various needs make any assessment of the numerical adequacy, quality and impact of trainees rather difficult. Indeed the true numerical requirements at each training level can only be estimated from a full knowledge of the prevailing conditions and after due consideration is given to the type and volume of work the trainees are expected to do, which in turn will be determined by:

  1. the scale and type of on-going field programmes which, to date, have been largely predetermined by the volume of foreign aid directed to this end;

  2. the level of motivation of field staff which depends upon monetary and other incentives. These workers require special allowances because of the arduous nature of their field duties and the degree of skill and reliability required of them.

The most direct approach to numerical assessment of training needs would be to ask appropriate departmental heads in the countries infested with tsetse. The likely result would, at best, be derived from existing or projected establishment figures.

An alternative approach would be to base an assessment on consideration of the potential for integrated control and area development determined according to human population pressure and competition for land, the need to increase food production, technical and economic feasibility of controlling animal trypanosomiasis, government priority for development and prospects for funding. Consideration must also be given to:

  1. prospects for developing community participation in tsetse control;

  2. available trained staff;

  3. estimated attainable land reclamation rate in km2;

  4. a modular estimate of trained staff requirement rate per unit area for a determined period, taking into account the type of terrain.

A modular estimate of trained staff requirement rate per 10,000 Km2 per three years is proposed by the consultant. For open savannah he suggests:

Where good community participation becomes assured, he believes the above work-team requirement can be reduced and farmer training inserted. In addition, for tsetse and trypanosomiasis monitoring:

An FAO questionnaire on training (and other tsetse/trypanosomiasis activities) sent to member countries elicited the following response. Of the 25 returns examined, 19 showed that of 546 persons trained, 74 i.e. 13.5% are no longer working on tsetse and trypanosomiasis related work. These figures are, however, very much influenced by returns from two countries, Zimbabwe and Tanzania which together showed 325 trained and only 5 i.e. 1.5 % drop out. If Zimbabwe and Tanzania are taken out the remaining 17 countries show 221 trained and 69, i.e. 31%, drop out.

In the same questionnaire 20 countries indicated their training requirements to be 119 professional staff and 241 middle-level technicians.

Control of trypanosomiasis requires a diagnostic capability for which laboratory facilities have to be provided. Such laboratories must be manned by properly trained staff. Research work on tsetse and trypanosomiasis problems must also have an important place in affected countries, especially research concerned with adaptation of existing technologies to local conditions. Such research requires well trained and highly dedicated staff.

Consideration must also be given to the increasing numbers of trained personnel who would be required in teaching and training duties whether informal training course or in inservice training activities.

While the difficulties of estimating the number of trained personnel are acknowledged, it must also be appreciated that the number of new trainees who become available for service in their countries will largely depend upon the number and size of available training institutions and opportunities.

It becomes more urgent, therefore, to seek the continuation of ELAT and SADCC RTC on a more sustainable basis and at the same time help to nurture the initiatives for a longterm solution to the problems of training middle level tsetse/trypanosomiasis personnel in adequate numbers for all the affected regions. This recommendation was strongly endorsed by the Lomé Workshop on Training Aspects of the Programme.

The staff of RTC Lusaka have proposed a six man-month mission to study in depth the training needs of governments, donor interest and an evaluation of past training efforts and on the basis of this study, to make recommendations for a sustainable training project. The possibility of establishing a fully-fledged Pan African training Institute for Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Control covering all levels of training has also been considered. Such an institute might either encompass the existing middle-level anglophone and francophone training institutes or liase closely with them. It may offer a long-term solution to the provision of the different types of training courses demanded by different situations and at the same time provide the training of high-level staff needed to plan tsetse and trypanosomiasis control operations and a corps of multilingual staff to assist governments in project identification and formulation, cost analysis, land use planning and area development.

The future of efforts to control tsetse and trypanosomiasis will depend in no small measure on efforts to train and retrain people at all levels and retain them on the job. Staff retention and motivation, however, are both dependant on monetary incentive. In many cases governments do not offer attractive career opportunities and cannot provide workers with necessary equipment or finance. There is, therefore, no incentive to remain in service. A solution to the problem supported by the Lomé Workshop, is to induce external aid agencies to provide staff with attractive field allowances. It has been suggested also, that training agencies could support trainees with a re-entry grant for specific research and field trials to promote the development of their career on return to their home country.

The situation could also be improved by creating opportunities for senior professional officers to keep abreast with developments in tsetse and trypanosomiasis control techniques through the attendance of short-term refresher courses and exchange visits.

With the advent of low-cost, environmentally acceptable control methods the role of national institutions in tsetse and trypanosomiasis control operations is expected to increase and with it the demand for in-service training of middle-level personnel. Such training must of necessity be guided by competent staff. This need could partly be met by a national training officer whose efforts would complement formal training courses offered by institutions such as ELAT or RTC Lusaka.

Furthermore, the new non-pollutant control methods have improved prospects for community participation. To deal adequately with this situation training should include tuition in extension methods in addition to basic tuition on environmental monitoring and land-use development needed to cover the area development aspects of tsetse control.


  1. Ferguson W. (1990) review of training aspects of the FAO Programme for the control of African Animal Trypanosomiasis and Related Development. Report prepared for the FAO Regional Office for Africa.

  2. East J. (1990) Training for tsetse control personnel at middle-level. Paper prepared for workshop on training in tsetse and trypanosomiasis control, Lomé, December 1990.

  3. Connor R.J. (1989) Final report of the regional trypanosomiasis expert. RTTCP Report.

  4. FAO (1990) Report of the workshop on training aspects of the FAO Programme for the Control of African Animal Trypanosomiasis and Related Development, Lomé, December 1990.

  5. FAO (1988) Integrated tsetse control and rural development, Report of the Joint meeting of the FAO Panels of Experts on Technical, Ecological and Development Aspects of the Programme for the Control of African Animal Trypanosomiasis and Related Development, Accra, November 1988.

  6. FAO (1988) Report of the Fifth Session of the Commission on African Animal Trypanosomiasis; Accra, November 1988.



K.O. Gyening

Selon les observations, la mise en exécution du Programme de la FAO pour la lutte contre la Trypanosomiase s'est toujours hertée, dès sa conception à un obstacle majeur: le manque de pesonnel qualifié et compétent. Auparavant, les programmes de formation étaient axés sur des méthodes de contrôle basées surtout sur l'application d'insecticides à de vastes régions. Cette méthode ayant maintenant fait place à l'identification de cibles pour des opérations de petite envergure, il convient donc de reformuler les programmes de formation.

Un expert-conseil de la FAO a fait remarquer tout récement que pris dans le contexte générale du Programme de la FAO pour la lutte contre la Trypanosomiase, le volet formation se heurte à des obstacles tels qu'un financement inadéquat, une affectation disproportionnées des resources pour les programmes de formation en matière de sélection des animaux par rapport aux programmes de contrôle de la mouche tsé-tsé, ainsi que l'incertitude qui plane sur l'avenir de l'Ecole de Lutte Anti-tsé-tsé (ELAT) et du Centre Régional de formation SADCC à Lusaka, tous deux ayant cessé de fonctionner (le dernier, temporairement) par manque de fonds de financement.

En raison du caractère divergent des besoins des divers pays concernés en matière de formation - ceci dépend de la situation dans les pays - il est difficile de déterminer exactement le nombre et la qualité du personnel qualifié dont ils ont besoin. Une telle évaluation doit prendre en considération la nature et le volume de travail à entreprendre par le personnel formé, l'envergure et la nature des programmes en cours ainsi que le degré de motivation du personnel travaillant sur le terrain. Il est également important de considérer la possibilité d'opter pour une méthode de contrôle intégrée et de développement local, la pression démographique de même que la concurrence pour l'acquisition de terre et la nécessité d'augmenter la production alimentaire. Il faudra également étudier l'aspect technique et économique du contrôle de la trypanosomiase animale, les priorités du gouvernement en matière de lutte contre la trypanosomiase ainsi que les perspectives de financement.

Partant de ces facteurs, l'expert-conseil a proposé une évaluation modulaire du personnel qualifié requis pour un domaine de 10 000 km2, et ce, pour une période de trois ans.

Sur un total de 25 questionnaires envoyés tout récemment aux pays membres de la FAO, les réponses de 20 ont indiqué qu'ils auraient besoin de 119 professionnels et de 241 cadre techniques moyens.

La restoration de l'ELAT et du Centre Régional de formation du SADCC est très importante pour l'avenir du programme de formation en vue de lutter contre la mouche tsétsé et la trypanosomiase.

Alors que ce point est en considération, il a été proposé d'accorder un appui financier au centre SADCC de Lusaka pour une période de dix ans en vue de former 30 cadres techniques par mois. Outre ceci, les Universités de Zambie et de Zimbabwe sont supposées organiser, dans un avenir proche, des programmes de maitrise pour le contrôle de la mouche tsé-tsé.

Tout en procédant à l'évaluation des besoins en formation, il convient de chercher les voies et moyens pour motiver le personnel - des indemnités intéressantes pour le travail sur le terrain, des stages de recyclages, l'octroi de bourses ou fonds pour financer des recherches spécifiques et les essais sur le terrain - pourraient aider à retenir le personnel sur place.

Avec des signes d'une meilleure participation des communautés locales aux programmes, il faudra également penser à inclure des programmes d'éducation aux méthodes de vulgarisation en plus du contrôle de l'environnement et du développement des systèmes fonciers, ce qui est nécessaire à l'exécution des aspects de développement local de la lutte contre la mouche tsé-tsé.

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