Fatal Neglect Sleeping Sickness

Sleeping sickness

Sleeping sickness, or human African trypanosomiasis, is a parasitic infection which attacks the body’s central nervous system; without treatment the disease is fatal.

Considered a neglected disease, there are two forms of sleeping sickness, caused by two different parasites: Trypanosoma brucei gambiense, which is found in western and central Africa accounts for 98 per cent of cases; Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense, accounts for less than two percent of cases and is found in eastern and southern Africa. Both parasites are transmitted by the bite of the tsetse fly.

The disease causes severe neurological conditions, including poor coordination, confusion, agitation, aggressiveness or disinhibition. The more commonly-known name of the disease, sleeping sickness, derives from the symptom where patients experience an inability to sleep during the night but are often overcome by sleep during the day.

 
Neglected diseases

Combating tropical diseases: What is still missing

Press Release 30 Jan 2012
 
Democratic Republic of Congo

Condition still critical

Project Update 18 Nov 2011
 
Sleeping sickness

Sleeping Sickness: Is the end in sight?

Project Update 1 Jul 2010
 
Sleeping sickness

NECT added to WHO Essential Medicines List as combination treatment against sleeping sickness

Press Release 15 May 2009
 
Sleeping sickness

New study shows potential for shorter and safer sleeping sickness treatment

Press Release 16 Nov 2006
 
Democratic People's Republic of Korea

African sleeping sickness in the DRC

Project Update 19 Jul 2006
Advanced HIV management in Homa Bay
Medical Resource

MSF Field Research

We produce important research based on our field experience. So far, we have published articles in over 100 peer-reviewed journals. These articles have often changed clinical practice and have been used for humanitarian advocacy. All of these articles can be found on our dedicated Field Research website.

Visit site