Gambian Human African Trypanosomiasis (gHAT) is a parasitic disease transmitted by tsetse flies. A ‘tiny target’ (pictured) is a novel tsetse control intervention that has the potential to eradicate gHAT in affected countries. Centre for Capacity Research is supporting researchers at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) to strengthen national capacity for tiny target implementation in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
In Northern Uganda and DRC, large scale tsetse control operations are ongoing in gHAT endemic areas, where tiny targets are being used to control the tsetse fly populations. LSTM and the Coordinating Office for Control of Trypanosomiasis (COCTU) in Uganda, and the National Programme for the Fight Against HAT (PNLTHA) in DRC, are working in close collaboration to ensure a successful implementation of the tiny targets project to contribute to achieving the WHO 2020 gHAT elimination goal.
The long-term goal of the tiny targets project is to build capacity in the respective national control programmes, so they are able to implement gHAT vector control measures independently from LSTM. In support of this capacity building goal, CCR are undertaking need assessments of the tiny target projects in accordance with the 5-step methodology developed by CCR. The need assessment is designed to inform the continued development of a sustainable and effective tiny target programme that may also serve as a model for other gHAT affected countries. Not only will this research benefit the communities in gHAT-endemic areas, where a strengthened control programme can reduce vectors, but findings will also help other countries implementing gHAT vector control by providing a robust framework for improving capacity.