Programme Against African Trypanosomosis (PAAT)

Indicators of vector control coverage in the elimination of gambiense human African trypanosomiasis (HAT)

Rome, Italy.

14/12/2022 15/12/2022

Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), also known as sleeping sickness, is a vector-borne disease transmitted by tsetse flies. The gambiense form of HAT (gHAT) is found in western and central Africa, and it is mainly anthroponotic (i.e. transmitted from human to human via the tsetse vector); the rhodesiense form is found in eastern and southern Africa, and it is considered zoonotic (i.e. transmission to humans via tsetse often originates from wild or domestic animals). Following substantial progress in disease control, the World Health Organization (WHO) has targeted the elimination of gHAT transmission by 2030. The goal is included in the WHO roadmap for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) 2021-2030: Ending the neglect to attain the Sustainable Development Goals, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) supports the goal within the framework of the Programme against African Trypanosomosis (PAAT).

Vector control is a HAT control tool that together with cases detection and treatment plays a role in some transmission foci to reduce tsetse-human contact. A recent joint FAO/WHO expert meeting [1] reviewed vector control activities against gHAT in endemic countries, and discussed the related tools and approaches, as well as issues of reporting and monitoring. Tsetse control was also discussed in the broader framework of One Health and in relation to the control of animal trypanosomosis.

One of the conclusions of the expert meeting was that there is a need to enhance and harmonize metrics to estimate the coverage of vector control in space and time, and to improve reporting and monitoring of vector control interventions at the national and continental level. Addressing this need is the main goal of the present meeting. Experts from national sleeping sickness control programmes in endemic countries, research institutions and international organizations will discuss available datasets, possible methodologies and approaches, and prospects for harmonization. The meeting is organized in the framework of the WHO network for HAT elimination, and it is supported by FAO within the framework of PAAT.

[1] FAO and WHO. 2022. Vector control and the elimination of gambiense human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) - Joint FAO/WHO Virtual Expert Meeting - 5-6 October 2021. PAAT Meeting Report Series. No. 1. Rome.