Issue brief |

Fact Sheet: Sleeping Sickness

Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT or sleeping sickness) is a parasitic, neglected tropical disease transmitted to humans by the tsetse fly. Historically, HAT has occurred in the poorest rural areas of Africa, where weak health systems and political instability make disease surveillance and management difficult. Seventeen sub-Saharan Africa countries reported cases of HAT to the WHO in 2009. The Democratic Republic of Congo alone, recorded 74% of all cases, and 97% of cases occurred in a total of seven countries. Last updated: June 2012