Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine 

Tiny Targets: vector control for the elimination of sleeping sickness

International research leading to the development of a simple and affordable vector control for the elimination of sleeping sickness, protecting over 1.8 million people across five African countries and directly contributing to the WHO confirming the elimination of the disease in Uganda.

65 million people around the world are at risk from Gambian Human African Trypanosomiasis (g-HAT), more commonly known as Sleeping Sickness, a fatal parasitic disease transmitted by tsetse flies. International research led by Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) has contributed to the elimination of the disease in Uganda, and a reduction in cases in Guinea, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Chad.

Historically, the control of Sleeping Sickness relied on case detection and treatment, which was both complex and costly. LSTM researchers, working in partnership with institutions across Europe and Africa, have developed Tiny Targets. This innovative device is a highly effective and cost-effective method of controlling the tsetse population which can be easily and quickly adopted, scaled up and deployed where needed.

Tiny Targets are insecticide treated squares of blue fabric surrounded by black netting which attract and kill the flies. Placed at intervals along local riverbanks and water sources, the Targets are being used effectively on a large scale across five countries which together account for over 80% of all cases reported, thus protecting lives and livelihoods in the most at risk populations.