Chancellor Lauds Efforts in the Fight against Sleeping Sickness

Prof. Joseph Mathu Ndung’u infers with Director General for Health, Dr. Patrick Amoth/File Photo

The Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) Executive Director, Prof. Joseph Mathu Ndung’u has lauded the historic milestone made by three African countries in the fight against sleeping sickness.

In an insightful article titled: Africa makes history in the fight against sleeping sickness,” Prof. Ndung’u, who is also the Chancellor of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), takes note of the significant strides made by Benin, Rwanda and Uganda, following their “validation by the World Health Organization (WHO) for their efforts in eliminating at least one form of sleeping sickness as a public health problem.”

Prof. Ndung’u believes the milestone “brings the world a significant step closer to meeting the WHO target of global elimination of the disease by 2030,” noting that sleeping sickness has been a scourge of sub-Saharan Africa for thousands of years.

A detailed exposition of Prof. Mathu Ndung’u’s thoughts on this latest development can be accessed at

FIND and JKUAT have undertaken a number of collaborative research activities. Some of these include a partnership with JKUAT’s Digital Health Applied Research Centre (DHARC), on the Use of digital tools to strengthen COVID-19 screening, testing, contact tracing and patient management, another on Bi-directional testing for TB and COVID-19, using a mobile laboratory to support routine and surveillance diagnostic services, and a project on Promoting integration of diagnostic data in decision making, among others.

The two institutions are currently engaged in discussions to explore a research collaboration to address cervical cancer burden in Kenya.   WHO has identified cervical cancer as the fourth most common cancer among women globally, with an estimated 604,000 new cases and 342,000 deaths in 2020.  About 90% of the new cases and deaths worldwide in 2020 occurred in low- and middle-income countries.

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