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Costs Of Using “Tiny Targets” to Control Glossina fuscipes fuscipes, a Vector of Gambiense Sleeping Sickness in Arua District of Uganda

Shaw, Alexandra P. M., Tirados, Inaki ORCID:, Mangwiro, Clement T. N., Esterhuizen, Johan, Lehane, Mike, Torr, Steve ORCID: and Kovacic, Vanja (2015) 'Costs Of Using “Tiny Targets” to Control Glossina fuscipes fuscipes, a Vector of Gambiense Sleeping Sickness in Arua District of Uganda'. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Vol 9, Issue 3, e0003624.

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To evaluate the relative effectiveness of tsetse control methods, their costs need to be analysed alongside their impact on tsetse populations. Very little has been published on the costs of methods specifically targeting human African trypanosomiasis.

Methodology/Principal Findings

In northern Uganda, a 250 km2 field trial was undertaken using small (0.5 X 0.25 m) insecticide-treated targets (“tiny targets”). Detailed cost recording accompanied every phase of the work. Costs were calculated for this operation as if managed by the Ugandan vector control services: removing purely research components of the work and applying local salaries. This calculation assumed that all resources are fully used, with no spare capacity. The full cost of the operation was assessed at USD 85.4 per km2, of which USD 55.7 or 65.2% were field costs, made up of three component activities (target deployment: 34.5%, trap monitoring: 10.6% and target maintenance: 20.1%). The remaining USD 29.7 or 34.8% of the costs were for preliminary studies and administration (tsetse surveys: 6.0%, sensitisation of local populations: 18.6% and office support: 10.2%). Targets accounted for only 12.9% of the total cost, other important cost components were labour (24.1%) and transport (34.6%).


Comparison with the updated cost of historical HAT vector control projects and recent estimates indicates that this work represents a major reduction in cost levels. This is attributed not just to the low unit cost of tiny targets but also to the organisation of delivery, using local labour with bicycles or motorcycles. Sensitivity analyses were undertaken, investigating key prices and assumptions. It is believed that these costs are generalizable to other HAT foci, although in more remote areas, with denser vegetation and fewer people, costs would increase, as would be the case for other tsetse control techniques.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QX Parasitology > Insects. Other Parasites > QX 505 Diptera
QX Parasitology > Insects. Other Parasites > QX 600 Insect control. Tick control
WA Public Health > Preventive Medicine > WA 240 Disinfection. Disinfestation. Pesticides (including diseases caused by)
WA Public Health > WA 30 Socioeconomic factors in public health (General)
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 705 Trypanosomiasis
Faculty: Department: Biological Sciences > Vector Biology Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Carmel Bates
Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2015 15:45
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2018 13:09


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