MSF inaugurates 'TséTsé' , a 15-meter long whaling boat, for Congo Brazzaville

MSF in Congo Brazzaville has added a whaling boat, a 'baleinier', to its fleet. Named the TséTsé, it will be used for the sleeping sickness program there. The boat motored up the Congo River on a 400km trip from Brazzaville to transport goods for the decentralised treatment centre in Mpouya, before moving on to Bwemba to meet the Gamboma team wherer the boat shall be currently based. The TséTsé, with a capacity of four tons, will not only transport goods to the project, but will also be used to reach the outlying villages on the river where the team is screening people for trypanosomiasis, better known as sleeping sickness. Sleeping sickness is prevalent in a number of regions in the republic of Congo. Due to the conflict in the past years the existing governmental program completely collapsed, bringing the prevalence levels back to epidemic proportions. The MSF team, based in Gamboma, is currently conducting a survey, screening the population in the in Plateaux province area. Levels are averaging around 5-6% (with a local peak of 24.6%). Treatment is being offered to people who test positive.