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.

Democratic Republic of Congo

Waking up to Congo's sleeping sickness

Project Update 19 Jul 2005
Democratic Republic of Congo

MSF opens ground-breaking sleeping sickness project in the DRC

Project Update 27 Sep 2004
Kala azar

Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi): matching needs and opportunities

Project Update 2 Jul 2004

DNDi diseases focus

Project Update 3 Jul 2003

Saving lives in the name of vanity

Project Update 28 Jan 2002
Republic of Congo

Sleeping sickness reaches epidemic proportions in Congo Brazzaville

Project Update 17 Aug 2001
Advanced HIV management in Homa Bay
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