Africa: Towards the Elimination of Human African Trypanosomiasis By 2030

press release

After three days of intense and constructive discussions, the Annual Coordination Meeting of the Countries Endemic for gambiense human African trypanosomiasis (g-HAT) ended today in Libreville, Gabon. This meeting, which brought together some forty participants from 21 endemic countries, including national programme managers and coordinators, with the technical and financial support of the World Health Organization (WHO), was an opportunity to take stock of the progress made in the fight against g-HAT, as well as the persistent challenges and the opportunities to accelerate the elimination of this disease by 2030.

During the consultation, participants were able to take stock of the progress made in the fight against g-HAT in recent years, highlighting a significant decline in the number of new cases across Africa. However, recognizing the ongoing challenges, the experts also identified strategic priorities to accelerate the elimination of the disease by 2030, including by strengthening epidemiological surveillance, improving access to diagnostics and treatments, and strengthening community mobilization.

Taking part in the proceedings, the WHO Representative in Gabon, Dr Magaran Monzon Bagayoko, stressed the importance of maintaining the current momentum and redoubling efforts to achieve the ambitious goal of stopping g-HAT transmission, thus achieving its elimination. He also expressed his gratitude to all participants for their commitment and determination to fight this devastating disease. "Elimination is within reach, the time is no longer for doubt, but for action," he said.

For his part, the Minister of Health, Prof. Adrien Mougougou, reaffirmed the commitment of the Gabonese government to fight against g-HAT. "Gabon remains committed to supporting national and international efforts to eliminate human African trypanosomiasis," he said. "Gabon intends to equip itself with a control framework whose implementation relies on a two-pronged process including, on the one hand, the development of community health and on the other hand, the operationalization of health departments with the support of our partners."

The recommendations made during this meeting will be compiled into a final report, which will guide future efforts to control g-HAT and ensure the health and well-being of affected populations.

"Participating in this meeting was an enriching and challenging experience. I was impressed by the collaboration and commitment of all participants to work closely together to eliminate g-HAT. It is also an opportunity to salute the support of WHO, which is sparing no effort to accompany countries in this noble fight," said Dr Kane Ndeye Mbaké, g-HAT Programme Coordinator of Senegal, at the close of the meeting.

This first post-COVID-19 Annual Coordination Meeting, held in person, marks an important milestone in the fight against g-HAT. It demonstrates Gabon's willingness and that of the international community to work together for its elimination.

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