The World Health Organization (WHO) has validated that sleeping sickness is no longer a public health problem in Côte d’Ivoire, and the illness is on its way to being completely eradicated by 2030.
“Côte d’Ivoire’s achievement marks an important step that brings Africa closer to eliminating sleeping sickness,” says Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “Sustained control measures over the past two decades have brought a significant decline in cases – a positive sign that many countries will soon be crossing this landmark.”
Following effective and ongoing surveillance to detect sleeping sickness – or human African trypanosomiasis – the number of cases has declined progressively over the last two decades, and in the last few years, less than 10 cases a year were reported. Côte d’Ivoire becomes the second African country after Togo to be validated by WHO for eliminating sleeping sickness as a public health problem, and Benin and Equatorial Guinea have requested their validation as well. As of 2020, there are less than 1,000 cases of the disease worldwide.