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The tsetsefly must die. (Africa).

A new campaign to control the deadly tsetsefly (the parasitic carrier of sleeping sickness) in Africa has been launched by the OAU. Sleeping sickness affects as many as 500,000 people in Africa, 80% of whom eventually die.

The fly is the carrier of the single cell parasite, trypanosome, which attacks the blood and nervous system of its victims, causing sleeping sickness in humans and nagana in livestock. The fly infests some 37 African countries, and its range is expanding. Scientists have been unable to develop a vaccine for humans or cattle because once in the bloodstream, trypanosomes are able to change the outer protein coat they wear into at least 1,000 variants.

"But now the solution to the tsetsefly is within our reach", says John Kabayo, regional coordinator of PATTEC, based in Addis Ababa.

The new campaign is drawing on the success of Zanzibar which wiped out the fly in 1997 using a sterile insect technique (SIT) in a programme co-sponsored by the FAO and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
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Author:Odongo, John
Publication:New African
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:60AFR
Date:Apr 1, 2002
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