SUMMARY Considering the epidemic situation of gambiense human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) at the end of the twentieth century, the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners strengthened disease control and surveillance. Over the last 15 years, the activities implemented through the National Control Programmes have brought gambiense HAT under control and now its elimination is deemed as an achievable goal. In 2012, WHO targeted gambiense HAT for elimination as a public health problem by 2020. The final goal will be the sustainable disease elimination by 2030, defined as the interruption of the transmission of gambiense HAT. The elimination is considered feasible, because of the epidemiological vulnerability of the disease, the current state of control, the availability of strategies and tools and international commitment and political will. Integration of activities in the health system is needed to ensure the sustainability of the elimination. The development of user-friendly diagnostic and treatment tools will facilitate the integration process. Adequate funding is needed to implement activities, but also to support research that will make the elimination sustainable. A long-term commitment by donors is needed and ownership of the process by endemic countries is critical.
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