This announcement was made by the ministry in a tweet and the elimination of sleeping sickness has been attributed (by the ministry) to intense surveillance, tsetse fly control, and individual case management.
Uganda has eliminated sleeping sickness as public health problem - Ministry of Health
The Ministry of Health has announced that the country has eradicated sleeping sickness as a public health problem.
The ministry of health said the disease was previously a massive burden in the West Nile region, putting more than 2 million people at risk and thus almost reaching pandemic proportions.
According to the World Health Organization, the disease is endemic in 36 African countries. These countries are namely Angola, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Gabon, Guinea, Malawi and South Sudan declared between 10 and 100 new cases in 2019, while Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, (previously Uganda), United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe among others.
What is sleeping sickness?
According to the WHO website, Human African trypanosomiasis, also known as sleeping sickness, is a vector-borne parasitic disease. It is caused by infection with protozoan parasites belonging to the genus Trypanosoma. They are transmitted to humans by tsetse fly (Glossina genus) bites which have acquired their infection from human beings or from animals harbouring human pathogenic parasites.
Tsetse flies are found just in sub-Saharan Africa though only certain species transmit the disease. For reasons that are so far unexplained, in many regions where tsetse flies are found, sleeping sickness is not.
Rural populations living in regions where transmission occurs and which depend on agriculture, fishing, animal husbandry or hunting are the most exposed to the tsetse fly and therefore to the disease. The disease develops in areas ranging from a single village to an entire region. Within an infected area, the intensity of the disease can vary from one village to the next.
Its symptoms include fever, severe headaches, irritability, extreme fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, and aching muscles and joints are common symptoms of sleeping sickness. Some people develop a skin rash. Progressive confusion, personality changes, and other neurologic problems occur after infection has invaded the central nervous system.
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