Human African Trypanosomiasis in Burkina Faso from 2005 to 2011


Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), also known as sleeping sickness, is a parasitic disease that is transmitted to humans through a vector called hematophagous Glossina, commonly known as the tsetse fly.

It is caused by the two subspecies of the protozoan blood Trypanosoma brucei: Trypanosoma brucei gambiense responsible for 98% of the disease in West and Central Africa and Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense in East and South Africa.

Sleeping sickness occurs exclusively in 36 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. In 1998, 40 000 cases of HAT were reported, but the WHO estimated that the number of infected persons reached 300 000 cases, and people at risk to 56 million cases [1]. Нe control efforts undertaken by WHO and the countries’ concerned has helped to reduce the incidence of the disease. In 2009, the number of reported cases dropped below 10,000 cases for the first time in 50 years, and in 2015, 2804 cases were reported.

The first site for the diagnosis and management of human African trypanosomiasis in Burkina Faso is located in the city of Ouagadougou: it consists of a laboratory for the diagnosis of HAT and a small hospital room with two beds for the treatment of cases. Нe second site is located in the city of Koudougou in the Central West Region and the site was the Koudougou Health District Laboratory, located within the compound of the medical center to which must be added, two hospitalization rooms for the treatment of case.

A total of 26 suspected cases of African human trypanosomiasis were recorded from 2005 to 2011. The mean age of the patients was 25 ± 10.3 years. The majority were males (88.5%) and most worked in the cocoa fields (76.9%). The notion of stay abroad was found in 73% of cases, mainly in Côte d'Ivoire.

In Burkina Faso, human African trypanosomiasis is current; there is indeed an upsurge of cases imported from Cote d'Ivoire where the disease is hypo-endemic. It remains a disease of rural populations and remains a significant threat to working populations on plantations exposed to the bite of the tsetse fly. Нe diagnosis unfortunately is usually done at a late stage and is associated with high lethality. Strengthening surveillance, upgrading the technical platform for diagnosis and management and collaboration between the two trypanosomiasis control programs (Côte d'Ivoire and Burkina-Faso) are necessary for a good fight against sleeping sickness.

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Journal of Infectious Diseases & Therapy

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