NewsDesk @bactiman63

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) announced seeing a significant decrease of Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT), aka sleeping sickness today.

“ … This government commitment has had promising effects such as the reduction of cases from 2012 to 2022 from 6,000 to 510. The commemoration of this day aims to raise awareness among stakeholders engaged in the fight and the international community in the sustainability of activities and the support and ownership of this fight with the objective of preserving the collective memory on the achievements obtained by this commitment on the one hand and on the other hand, on the devastating health and socio-economic consequences in the development of families and communities ,” said the Minister of Public Health, Hygiene and Prevention, Doctor Jean-Jacques Mbungani. 

Trypanosoma brucei parasites/CDC

He stressed that we must stay the course to succeed, arguing: “Certainly, the results and the progress are spectacular, but the will to eliminate this endemic disease remains the objective”.

While welcoming the efforts made by the Congolese State in synergy with its technical and financial partners as well as donors, the representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in the DRC reaffirmed his organization’s support for that the ambition to eradicate sleeping sickness in the DRC by 2030 materializes as soon as possible. 

Acoziborole, a new single-dose, oral drug, stands out as a great therapeutic advance. Clinical trials of this molecule have a success rate of 95%. 

” We are therefore fortunate to think that this new oral, single-dose treatment will pave the way for stopping the transmission of the disease in the days that follow (…). We are on the doorstep of eliminating sleeping sickness. On this day when our attention is focused on neglected diseases, we must allocate more financial resources in the fight against HAT to allow the Congolese people to enjoy a much more peaceful life “, pleaded Chirac Bolanga Milemba, Regional Director of DNDi.

Delegate of the Bill-and-Melinda-Gates Foundation, Rachel Bronzan hammered on the importance of watching the grain to avoid any relaxation. 

“ This treatment will be available in the near future. The fight was long and difficult. Great progress was followed by devastating resurgences of the disease when the fight was interrupted. The fight must therefore continue ,” she said. 

In recent years, sleeping sickness has been treated with Fexinidazole, the very first all-oral drug approved to treat both stages of this condition.

The DRC is the country most affected in the world by this disease with 70% of notified cases.

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