A History Of Successful Partnerships: Towards The Elimination Of Sleeping Sickness

Organized By


Tuesday, November 17th 12:30 - 13:30 (Swiss time)


Since 2001, more than 40 million HAT screening tests have been performed, and over 210,000 cases detected and treated. A 96% decline in reported HAT cases was observed between 2000 and 2018, with 26,550 cases reported in 2000 and a historic low of 980 cases reported in 2019.

While the current global priority is to protect people from attaining the COVID-19 infection and to attend to those infected, the NTD community has a responsibility to advocate for continued prioritization of NTDs on the global health agenda, in alignment with the necessary transformation of the policy and funding landscape. This could be an opportunity to reinforce the general health system while supporting NTD specific care from international donors.

In this context, the partners of the fight against Sleeping Sickness will take a moment to celebrate the significant progress in the control of the disease. They will showcase how their innovative collaborative model of drug development and their collaboration overall have paved the way for elimination of HAT and the distribution of the first all-oral treatment, Fexinidazole, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The live session will also be an opportunity for Sanofi and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) to communicate on the recent agreement signed to finalize the development and roll out the innovative single-dose oral sleeping sickness treatment Acoziborole, a new chemical entity issued from DNDi’s ‘lead optimization’ programme for sleeping sickness. Thanks to a 20-year collaboration between Sanofi and the World Health Organization (WHO), acoziborole, once approved, will be given for free to patients through affected countries’ public health systems.

The session will integrate an historical dimension of the disease, inviting participants to time travel in Cameroon back in the 1920s. The work of Marcel Chambon, French physician who played a major role in the prevention of sleeping sickness and Eugène Jamot, the founder of the principle of systematic case detection and treatment, will be projected.


Samantha Bolton

Strategy and Communication


Pr Francois Chappuis

Head of Division. Mission of the Tropical and Humanitarian Medicine Division

Dr Amy Fall

Global Health Medical For Africa Region Lead, Sanofi

Dr Francis Louis

Ceux du Pharo

Dr Daniel Argaw Dagne

Coordinator, Prevention, Treatment and Care, Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases, World Health Organization (WHO)

Dr Nathalie Strub-Wourgaft

Medical Director, Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi)

Closing Speech : Country Ownership And The NTD Resolution

Serge Musenge

First Counsellor of the Permanent Representative of Democratic Republic of the Congo to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva