From Health Advice to Taboo: Community Perspectives on the Treatment of Sleeping Sickness in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a Qualitative Study
A study carried out at villagers level in a focus infected by human trypanosomiasis (Yamba, Bouenza region, Congo, Mikengue ethnic group) revealed that modern medicin is recognized by them as the sole possibility to treat the sleeping sickness. The witch doctor, if he cannot transmit the sickness, is perfectly able to aggravate it. He is considered as the responsible for any fatal issue. Tsetse flies are charged of transmitting the sickness as well as other biting insects (black flies, ceratopogonidae). The elders give an historical role to pigs in spreading the sickness. Villagers seem very determined to assume themselves fighting against the tsetse fly by trapping, but impregnation of traps by an insecticide got some problems (technical know-how, equipment) which have been solved by a new model of trap designed by the ORSTOM Center in Brazzaville.