• Availability and affordability of treatment for Human African Trypanosomiasis.

      Etchegorry, M; Helenport, J; Pecoul, B; Jannin, J; Legros, D; Médecins Sans Frontières, 8 Rue Saint Sabin, Paris. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2001-11)
      Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT) is a re-emerging disease whose usual treatments are becoming less efficient because of the increasing parasite resistance. Availability of HAT drugs is poor and their production in danger because of technical, ecological and economic constraints. In view of this dramatic situation, a network involving experts from NGOs, WHO and pharmaceutical producers was commissioned with updating estimates of need for each HAT drug for the coming years; negotiations with potential producers of new drugs such as eflornithine; securing sustainable manufacturing of existing drugs; clinical research into new combinations of these drugs for first and second-line treatments; centralizing drug purchases and their distribution through a unique non-profit entity; and addressing regulatory and legal issues concerning new drugs.
    • Eflornithine is a cost-effective alternative to melarsoprol for the treatment of second-stage human West African trypanosomiasis in Caxito, Angola.

      Robays, J; Raguenaud, M E; Josenando, T; Boelaert, M; Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium. Medecins Sans Frontieres Belgium. National Sleeping Sickness control program of Angola (2008-02)
      OBJECTIVE: To compare the cost-effectiveness of eflornithine and melarsoprol in the treatment of human African trypanosomiasis. METHOD: We used data from a Médecins Sans Frontières treatment project in Caxito, Angola to do a formal cost-effectiveness analysis, comparing the efficiency of an eflornithine-based approach with melarsoprol. Endpoints calculated were: cost per death avoided; incremental cost per additional life saved; cost per years of life lost (YLL) averted; incremental cost per YLL averted. Sensitivity analysis was done for all parameters for which uncertainty existed over the plausible range. We did an analysis with and without cost of trypanocidal drugs included. RESULTS: Effectiveness was 95.6% for melarsoprol and 98.7% for eflornithine. Cost/patient was 504.6 for melarsoprol and 552.3 for eflornithine, cost per life saved was 527.5 USD for melarsoprol and 559.8 USD for eflornithine without cost of trypanocidal drugs but it increases to 600.4 USD and 844.6 USD per patient saved and 627.6 USD and 856.1 USD per life saved when cost of trypanocidal drugs are included. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratio is 1596 USD per additional life saved and 58 USD per additional life year saved in the baseline scenario without cost of trypanocidal drugs but it increases to 8169 USD per additional life saved and 299 USD per additional life year saved if costs of trypanocidal drugs are included. CONCLUSION: Eflornithine saves more lives than melarsoprol, but melarsoprol is slightly more cost-effective. Switching from melarsoprol to eflornithine can be considered as a cost-effective option according to the WHO choice criteria.
    • Field evaluation of the CATT/Trypanosoma brucei gambiense on blood-impregnated filter papers for diagnosis of human African trypanosomiasis in southern Sudan.

      Chappuis, F; Pittet, A; Bovier, P A; Adams, K; Godineau, V; Hwang, S Y; Magnus, E; Büscher, P; Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) - Switzerland, Geneva, Switzerland. francois.chappuis@hcuge.ch (Wiley-Blackwell, 2002-11)
      Most Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT) control programmes in areas endemic for Trypanosoma brucei gambiense rely on a strategy of active mass screening with the Card Agglutination Test for Trypanosomiasis (CATT)/T. b. gambiense. We evaluated the performance, stability and reproducibility of the CATT/T. b. gambiense on blood-impregnated filter papers (CATT-FP) in Kajo-Keji County, South-Sudan, where some areas are inaccessible to mobile teams. The CATT-FP was performed with a group of 100 people with a positive CATT on whole blood including 17 confirmed HAT patients and the results were compared with the CATT on plasma (CATT-P). The CATT-FP was repeated on impregnated filter papers stored at ambient and refrigerated temperature for 1, 3, 7 and 14 days. Another 82 patients with HAT, including 78 with a positive parasitology, were tested with the CATT-FP and duplicate filter paper samples were sent to a reference laboratory to assess reproducibility. The CATT-FP was positive in 90 of 99 patients with HAT (sensitivity: 91%). It was less sensitive than the CATT-P (mean dilution difference: -2.5). There was no significant loss of sensitivity after storage for up to 14 days both at ambient and cool temperature. Reproducibility of the CATT-FP was found to be excellent (kappa: 0.84). The CATT-FP can therefore be recommended as a screening test for HAT in areas where the use of CATT-P is not possible. Further studies on larger population samples in different endemic foci are still needed before the CATT-FP can be recommended for universal use.
    • Human African trypanosomiasis amongst urban residents in Kinshasa: a case-control study.

      Robays, J; Ebeja, A; Lutumba, P; Miaka mia Bilenge, C; Kande Betu Ku Mesu, V; De Deken, R; Makabuza, J; Deguerry, M; Van der Stuyft, P; Boelaert, M; et al. (2004-08)
      BACKGROUND: Increasing numbers of human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) cases have been reported in urban residents of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic Congo since 1996. We set up a case-control study to identify risk factors for the disease. METHODS: All residents of the urban part of Kinshasa with parasitologically confirmed HAT and presenting for treatment to the city's specialized HAT clinics between 1 August, 2002 and 28 February, 2003 were included as cases. We defined the urban part as the area with contiguous habitation and a population density >5000 inhabitants per square kilometre. A digital map of the area was drawn based on a satellite image. For each case, two serologically negative controls were selected, matched on age, sex and neighbourhood. Logistic regression models were fitted to control for confounding. RESULTS: The following risk factors were independently associated with HAT: travel, commerce and cultivating fields in Bandundu, and commerce and cultivating fields in the rural part of Kinshasa. No association with activities in the city itself was found. DISCUSSION: In 2002, the emergence of HAT in urban residents of Kinshasa appears mainly linked to disease transmission in Bandundu and rural Kinshasa. We recommend to intensify control of these foci, to target HAT screening in urban residents to people with contact with these foci, to increase awareness of HAT amongst health workers in the urban health structures and to strengthen disease surveillance.
    • Human african trypanosomiasis: A history of its therapies and their failures.

      Ollivier, G; Legros, D; Epicentre, Paris, France. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2001-11)
      This paper gives an overview of the treatment of Human African Trypanosomiasis from the early 20th century until today.
    • Sleeping sickness in the region of the town of Kinshasa: a retrospective analysis during the surveillance period 1996-2000.

      Ebeja, A; Lutumba, P; Molisho, D; Kegels, G; Miaka mia Bilenge, C; Boelaert, M; Médecins sans Frontières, Kinshasa, République Démocratique du Congo. kadima_ebeja@hotmail.com (Wiley-Blackwell, 2003-10)
      In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the re-emergence of sleeping sickness is no longer limited to rural areas. Over the course of the past decade, more and more cases have been reported from urban centres such as Kinshasa, Mbuji-mayi, Matadi and Boma. This paper presents a retrospective analysis on the region of Kinshasa over the period 1996-2000, using epidemiological surveillance, individual case files and available entomological data. There are 22 health districts in total; they were classified as urban when the population exceeded 5000 per square kilometre. The Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT) control programme reported 2451 parasitologically confirmed new cases between 1996 and 2000, in the entire region of Kinshasa. Affected people (66%) were aged 15-49 years. Cases occurred in every health district, and 956 (39%) occurred in urban residents. Glossina captures in 1999 established the presence of Trypanosoma spp. Local HAT transmission is plausible but not proven. The high number of urban cases necessitates development of control strategies adapted to cities.