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Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2002 Dec 28;146(52):2527-30.

[The return of sleeping sickness in an epidemic form: international action for drugs].

[Article in Dutch]

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  • 1Academisch Medisch Centrum/Universiteit van Amsterdam, afd. Inwendige Geneeskunde, onderafd. Infectieziekten, Tropische Geneeskunde en Aids, Postbus 22.660, 1100 DD Amsterdam.


In Central Africa, the number of people suffering and dying from sleeping sickness is the same as it was in 1920, whereas the disease was under control in the 1950s. In Zaire (Congo), Gambiense sleeping sickness was virtually under control by 1960. Due to war, chaos, population movements, lack of resources, and collapse of public health, the situation is now as it was 80 years ago and some years ago it was even more bleak as the supply of drugs seemed to halt. Due especially to the action of Médecins sans Frontières, the availability of the four essential drugs pentamidine, suramine, melarsoprol and eflornithine is now secure until 2006. Control of the epidemic in Central Africa can be achieved once peace and order and a basic infrastructure have been restored, and under the condition that adequate resources will be available.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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