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Chad Becomes 51st Country to Eliminate Sleeping Sickness



Chad has made history by becoming the 51st country to eliminate sleeping sickness, also known as human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), a neglected tropical disease (NTD) that has plagued the country for decades.

This achievement marks a significant milestone in the global fight against NTDs, with the World Health Organization (WHO) hailing it as a major success story.

Sleeping sickness, transmitted by the tsetse fly, causes flu-like symptoms initially but can lead to behavior change, confusion, sleep cycle disturbances, coma, and even death if left untreated. Chad’s achievement is a testament to the country’s commitment to improving the health of its people, with dedicated efforts by health workers, communities, and partners paying off.

The elimination of sleeping sickness in Chad reflects the country’s progress in tackling NTDs, with the WHO validating the elimination of the gambiense form of HAT in seven countries, including Chad, Togo, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Uganda, Equatorial Guinea, and Ghana. Rwanda has also eliminated the rhodesiense form of the disease as a public health problem.

The WHO has set a target of 100 countries eliminating at least one NTD by 2030, and Chad’s achievement brings the global community closer to achieving this goal.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, congratulated the government and people of Chad on this achievement, stating that the 100-country target is within reach.

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