Sleeping sickness or Trypanosomiasis
was first reported from Mali in North Western Africa. Nicknamed as African trypanosomiasis, this tropical disease can trigger life-threatening complications in the absence of treatment. The disease causes the swelling of the brain and the meninges,or outer covering of the brain.
Millions were affected by the sleeping sickness epidemics that ravaged all of East, West, and South Africa during 1896,1906, 1920, and 1970. During the same period, the causative parasite and the tsetse fly vector were discovered and initial treatment methods were found.
Drugs like Pentamidine have been used extensively to cut the rate of incidence of Trypanosomiasis. Improving the surroundings, by clearing undergrowth from villages, paths, bridges and cleaning water sources have helped in cutting the incidence of this disease.