ReThink DRC

SUMMARY: ZeroFly Livestock is the first insecticide-incorporated screen that keeps livestock healthy and productive by reducing the impact of nuisance and biting flies, such as tsetse flies, which are the vector of trypanosomiasis (also known as sleeping sickness or Nagana).

PROBLEM SPACE: Initiatives are required to promote partnerships so that the Congolese can move away from exploitative artisanal mining to more modern approaches that employ appropriate labour and environmental safeguards. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the country with the highest prevalence of HAT, accounting for more than 70% of cases reported worldwide. The transmission rate is high and it is estimated that more than 12 million people are at risk of the disease. The tsetse fly, Glossina species, is the vector of trypanosomiasis, also known as African sleeping sickness, for the human and animal disease (HAT & AAT). Through reducing/removing the vector burden both the human and animal diseases can be reduced and potentially eliminated.

The main challenge of the urban population growth includes, amongst others, reliable food supplies in sufficient quantities and at sustainable prices. Of the many assets farmers have, livestock is one of the most important. Cattle & pigs provide sustenance in the form of meat and milk. Intensification of pig production is suggested as a first step in providing a sustainable solution for national food security. This project concept is supporting the MDGs 1, 4 & 5 by strengthening communities self-sufficiency through increased food productivity and improved health.

SOLUTION: As part of the initiative Re-think DRC, Vestergaard committed to increase livestock (pig) productivity in the area around Kinshasa, DRC through a pilot study addressing the debilitating impacts of the tsetse fly that causes Animal African Trypanosomiasis (AAT) and Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT). The pilot can also be easily transferrable to zero-grazing of high producing dairy cattle that can suffer even higher levels of disease in the northern and eastern regions of the country.

This project has a multi-disciplinary approach, with the main aim of strengthening and improving the links between human and animal health, agriculture and improved nutritional outcomes. Alongside decreasing poverty and hunger, the increase in self-sufficiency will lead to reduced imports and if scaled up provide a significant boost to the local and national economy.

The pilot study consists of a two year follow-up of pig production (exotic cross breed) under two treatments following a longitudinal, prospective, single blind and controlled study design. The treatment groups placed in two closely matched sites 700 meters apart; site one with the intervention (ZeroFlyå Livestock) and site two acting as the control (no protection). The Province of Kinshasa was chosen as the study area since it is a historical HAT foci.

CONTACT PERSON: [email protected]