Identifying regions for enhanced control of gambiense sleeping sickness in the Democratic Republic of Congo.Nat Commun. 2022 03 18; 13(1):1448.NC
Gambiense human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness, gHAT) is a disease targeted for elimination of transmission by 2030. While annual new cases are at a historical minimum, the likelihood of achieving the target is unknown. We utilised modelling to study the impacts of four strategies using currently available interventions, including active and passive screening and vector control, on disease burden and transmission across 168 endemic health zones in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Median projected years of elimination of transmission show only 98 health zones are on track despite significant reduction in disease burden under medical-only strategies (64 health zones if > 90% certainty required). Blanket coverage with vector control is impractical, but is predicted to reach the target in all heath zones. Utilising projected disease burden under the uniform medical-only strategy, we provide a priority list of health zones for consideration for supplementary vector control alongside medical interventions.