14 December 2016 – Geneva, Lausanne, Liverpool, Marseille – An important new project to eliminate sleeping sickness has been launched by the newly formed Trypa-No! Partnership. The project aims to eliminate human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), also known as sleeping sickness, in Côte d’Ivoire and Uganda in the next three years, and to reduce HAT cases by 90% in Chad and Guinea.
The Trypa-No! Partnership is a collaboration between FIND, the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD), the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), the Coordinating Office for the Control of Trypanosomiasis in Uganda (COCTU), the National HAT Control Programmes of Chad and Guinea, the National HAT elimination Programme, Institut Pierre Richet, and University of Daloa of Côte d’Ivoire – all groups that have been working on research and control of HAT, including HAT screening and diagnosis, treatment or vector control, for some years. The project is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has prioritized the elimination of this neglected tropical disease, in accordance with the World Health Organization (WHO) 2020 Roadmap on Neglected Tropical Diseases.
HAT is a parasitic disease that is spread by the tsetse fly and affects people in resource-limited settings in Africa, with more than 56 million people living at risk. The disease is almost always fatal if left untreated.
The project will expand efforts to prevent transmission by integrating new tsetse fly control methods with intensive screening, diagnosis and treatment of HAT across Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea and Uganda, where 7.6 million people live at risk of the disease. Over the last couple of years, HAT control has been constrained in Chad by security issues and in Guinea by the Ebola epidemic. Trypa-No! Partnership activities in project countries will also contribute to national efforts to strengthen or rebuild national health systems.
The Trypa-No! Partnership will work closely with an Industry Liaison Group led by Vestergaard to help mobilize local community support, provide in-kind contributions and raise additional funds for the extension of program activities. Vestergaard worked with LSTM, IRD, Centre International de Recherche-Développement sur l’Elevage en zone Subhumide (CIRDES) in Burkina Faso and other in-country partners such as Institut de Recherche en Elevage pour le Développement (IRED) in Chad to develop a highly effective and inexpensive vector control technology called Tiny Targets, which will be used by the project to control the tsetse fly. The project will use another novel technology, a rapid diagnostic test developed by FIND and Alere/Standard Diagnostics for rapid screening of populations at risk.
FIND, established in 2003 as a global non-profit, is dedicated to accelerating the development, evaluation and use of high-quality, affordable diagnostic tests for poverty-related diseases, including tuberculosis, malaria, HIV/AIDS, sleeping sickness, hepatitis C, leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, Buruli ulcer, febrile illnesses and infectious diseases with outbreak potential, such as Ebola. Over the last decade, FIND has partnered in the delivery of 14 new diagnostic tools, including eight for tuberculosis, and has created an enabling environment for numerous others through the provision of specimen banks, reagent development and better market visibility.
FIND also supports better access to new diagnostics through implementation, quality assurance and lab strengthening work. FIND has over 200 partners globally, including research institutes and laboratories, health ministries and national disease control programmes, commercial partners, clinical trial sites, and bilateral and multilateral organizations (especially WHO). To learn more, visit www.finddx.org.
A major player in research for development, the IRD is a multidisciplinary research institute dedicated to working closely with partner countries on global development issues. Placed under the supervision of the French Ministry of Research and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, the IRD uses an original approach on development research and expertise throughout its international network in over 90 countries. The IRD aims at using its research and tools for the benefit of countries that make science and innovation the prime levers for development. In March 2015 with the appointment of new governance, the IRD established a newly restructured organization engaged in a global approach to development. Thanks to its scientific excellence and international cooperation model, the IRD is positioning itself in a globalized research context as a scientific leader dedicated to positioning research for development as a major tool for the new development agenda.
Within IRD, the joint IRD-Cirad Research unit INTERTRYP (http://umr-intertryp.cirad.fr/) is dedicated to research and control of NTD due to Trypanosomatids, focusing on a One Health approach on interactions between parasites, vectors, human and animal hosts in their environment. To learn more, visit http://en.ird.fr/ird.fr.
Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) has been engaged in the fight against infectious, debilitating and disabling diseases since 1898 and continues that tradition today with a research portfolio in excess of well over £200 million and a teaching programme attracting students from over 65 countries. For further information, please visit: www.lstmed.ac.uk
ZeroFly® is manufactured by Vestergaard, a family-owned global health company dedicated to improving the health of vulnerable people, most of whom live in developing countries. Our game-changing solutions contribute to a healthier, more sustainable planet by fighting malaria, HIV/AIDS, diarrheal diseases and neglected tropical diseases. Our food security products include ZeroFly® Storage Bags, which protect post-harvest crops from pest infestations, and ZeroFly® Screens, Targets & Traps, which have insecticide incorporated into the screen to attract and kill biting insects that transmit disease to people and livestock. This includes tsetse flies, which transmit animal sleeping sickness. For the past 20 years, Vestergaard has been one of the only international suppliers of high quality long-lasting vector control tools for the fight against sleeping sickness. The company is recognized by key organization such as WHO, PATTEC, FAO and BMGF as a long term partner in this fight towards elimination.