FIND collaborates with Guinea to improve detection of sleeping sickness

The Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics, a not-for-profit dedicated to using diagnostic tests to save lives, announced a collaboration on Wednesday with the Republic of Guinea to improve detection of sleeping sickness.

The project with the country's Ministry of Health is meant to strengthen diagnostic capabilities by introducing new tools in health centers located in the most endemic parts of the country. The new diagnostic tools may help increase chances for early diagnosis of the deadly, neglected tropical disease.

Guinea experienced more than 800 cases of sleeping sickness, also known as human African trypanosomiasis, between 2000 and 2009, giving the country the largest burden of the disease in Western Africa. The collaboration will strengthen surveillance capacity in the country's coastal region to ensure that cases of the disease are detected earlier when treatment is safer and more effective.

In addition to equipping four main laboratories with facilities to confirm HAT, the project will also include research activities to evaluate the performance and cost of using the new tests.

FIND expects the three-year project to strengthen HAT case detection and vector control through the dramatic improvement of surveillance and early detection. FIND and its partners recently initiated similar projects in Malawi and Uganda.

The project is supported by the Republic of Guinea's government, FIND, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the U.K. Department for International Development, the German Federal Ministry of Education and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.