Tsetse flies (genus Glossina) can threaten health and agriculture by transmitting the parasites that cause the potentially fatal diseases of sleeping sickness in humans and nagana in livestock. The fact that only parts of sub-Saharan Africa are infested is attributable to many causes, including the temperature in the area. This raises the possibility that climate change will affect the abundance and distribution of tsetse – the leading questions being how great and how rapid the effects will be. SACEMA is addressing these questions by a combination of field work and simulation modelling.
Sleeping sickness severely affects health and development in Sub-Saharan Africa. As there are no prophylactics, and only highly toxic curatives, the safest policy is to attack the tsetse flies (vectors). The cheapest and simplest method of tsetse control is the use of insecticide-treated baits; host animals (cattle) or artificial representations of them (“targets”). Bait performance has been improved greatly in the last 40 years, however to further reduce the costs of targets more research is needed to shed light on some unsolved problems.