Human African Trypanosomiasis ( Hat )

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The topic of disease regarding the continent of Africa has been discussed frequently over the past three decades. Thoughts regarding disease tend to center around the idea that disease can be eliminated by a one-step cure. This viewpoint is flawed because it excludes other factors influencing disease. In this paper, I will argue that there are other factors that influence the presence of disease in a region. Specifically, I will be focusing on Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT) in African countries such as Kenya, Uganda, and the Congo. To do this, I will explore publications focused on how the history of disease, colonialism, the environment, gender roles, economy, and influence of organizations from countries outside the continent have…show more content…
The symptoms in the beginning of an HAT infection tend to be mild, consisting of nausea and fever. (Hotez, 2008, p. 82) The disease is commonly referred to as “sleeping sickness”. The most common forms of HAT include Trypanosoma brucei gambiense and Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense. In both of these forms, there are two main stages of disease known the hemolymphatic and acute stages. Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense has a more severe acute stage than its counter part, Trypanosoma brucei gambiense. In the acute stage of Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense, the infected individual can become “zombie-like” and experience psychotic episodes that can involve violence. These episodes of an individual experiencing the acute stage gave the disease the nickname of “sleeping sickness”. Understanding the reason why the disease was coined “sleeping sickness” is important for understanding how African people view HAT. Within traditional African religion, there is fear of witchcraft. When people within groups that practice traditional beliefs come into contact with a HAT infected person, fear can arise. This fear can be traced to the people feeling the threat of witchcraft or a punishment from ancestors. (Moyo, 2013, p. 344) This fear can result in the outcast of the infected individual, leading to the stigmatization of those who are infected. Human African Trypanosomiasis was first discovered
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