Healthcare worker testing a woman for HAT with a rapid test in Uganda

Trypa-NO! HAT (sleeping sickness) elimination partnership

What is the Trypa-NO! partnership?

The Trypa-NO! partnership supports country efforts to eliminate the gambiense form of human African trypanosomiasis (HAT, also known as sleeping sickness) through a unique approach that integrates diagnosis and treatment of HAT with measures to control tsetse flies, the vectors of the trypanosome parasites.

Why are we working on HAT?

HAT is endemic in 36 countries throughout sub-Saharan Africa and is usually fatal if left untreated. The World Health Organization (WHO) has targeted the global elimination of HAT by 2030. Historically, diagnosing the disease and monitoring its spread – crucial steps for any elimination effort – have been a challenge, because many of the communities most vulnerable to HAT live in remote, rural settings.

Since 2016, the Trypa-NO! partnership helps countries implement tailored elimination strategies. Building on successes achieved across Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, and Uganda, it now aims to further support these countries and others in the region to ensure that these gains are sustained and to progress towards the global elimination target.

How do we support HAT elimination?

Trypa-NO! aims to empower each country with the tools and capacity needed to achieve and sustain HAT elimination. For example, the partnership has deployed rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) and supported training of healthcare workers in remote areas to enable them to screen for HAT more effectively and to rapidly treat cases. The project also uses community-level diagnostic information to help target its screening and vector control activities.

How do we support HAT elimination?
A unique approach that integrates diagnosis, treatment, and tsetse fly control

At the core of these efforts, the Trypa-NO! partnership continues to strengthen the country-level data management capacity needed to implement strategic, evidence-based elimination interventions.

What do we expect to achieve?

Of the four countries that the Trypa-NO! partnership has been supporting since its launch in 2016, two – Côte d’Ivoire and Uganda – have already successfully eliminated the gambiense form of HAT as a public health problem. The other two countries – Chad and Guinea – are on track to achieve that goal soon.

The new phase of work will support these countries in refining current approaches into sustainable, integrated, and cost-effective strategies so that they can mitigate the risk of resurgence and eventually maintain their own post-elimination surveillance programmes.

The partnership is also initiating or expanding efforts to accelerate the elimination of HAT in Angola, the Central African Republic, Sierra Leone, and South Sudan, which will also help preserve the progress made in nearby Chad, Guinea, and Uganda.

HAT elimination targets by 2025 in each supported country
HAT elimination targets by 2025 in each supported country

In addition to supporting elimination efforts, the programme will leave a legacy of stronger health systems through the procurement of laboratory equipment and consumables, training of personnel, and sensitization of communities. The evidence base built from the work with these eight nations can also serve as a foundation for similar work in other countries, supporting the global elimination goal by 2030.

What is the timescale?

The Trypa-NO! partnership was established in 2016 and has been progressively expanding its scope, building on past successes. The next phase of work will run from 2023 to 2025.

Partners and funding of Trypa-NO!

FIND coordinates the Trypa-NO! partnership’s activities in collaboration with the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD) and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM).

Local partners include the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (CoVAB), Makerere University, Uganda; the Centre International de Recherche-Développement sur l’Elevage en zone Subhumide (CIRDES), Burkina Faso; the Coordinating Office for Control of Trypanosomiasis, Uganda (COCTU); the Institut de Recherche en Elevage pour le Développement (IRED), Chad; the Instituto de Combate e Controlo das Tripanossomíases (ICCT), Angola; the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Sierra Leone; the Programme National d’Elimination de la Trypanosomiase Humaine Africaine (PNETHA), Côte d’Ivoire; the Programmes National de Lutte contre la Trypanosomiase Humaine Africaine (PNLTHA) of Chad, Central African Republic, and Guinea; and the Uganda National Health Research Organization (UNHRO).

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funds the Trypa-NO! project through a grant to FIND.