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Autonomous Control, Climate and Environmental Changes Effects on Trypanosomiasis in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Review
African trypanosomiasis is a parasitic disease that causes serious economic losses in livestock due to anemia, loss of condition and emaciation. The disease when neglected is lethal and untreated cases are fatal. African trypanosomiasis is found mainly in those regions of Africa where its biological vector, the tsetse fly, exists. Trypanosomiasis has widespread constraint on livestock production, traction power, mixed farming and human health in Sub-Saharan Africa. A tsetse fly eradication program being conducted in Sub-Saharan Africa may help in the control of African trypanosomiasis, as well as other forms of trypanosomiasis that affect humans. Control may also be achieved by a variety of autonomous and/or purposive measures. Autonomous control includes the multiple environmental impacts of human population growth, the expansion of agriculture, settlements and road networks, and the elimination of wildlife, through hunting and habitat loss. Purposive control includes those related to animal husbandry and breeding, those directed against the trypanosome and those targeted at the vector. To be sustained and effective in the reduction of poverty, disease control must be a priority concern of livestock producers, affected communities, and benefits of increased production, improved human health must exceed the costs of control. However, ‘the most scientific and economic means’ must be employed in control, as indiscriminate control actions against the disease may lead to irreversible damage to climate, environment and natural resources. Integration of control measures against the vector with other viable control measures along with the use of the most efficient and up-to-date technologies such as GIS, computerized model etc will yield better results.