Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT) is a major public health problem in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Active and passive surveillance for HAT is conducted but may underestimate the true prevalence of the disease. We used ELISA to screen 7,769 leftover dried blood spots from a nationally representative population-based survey, the 2007 Demographic and Health Survey. 26 samples were positive by ELISA. Three of these were also positive by trypanolysis and/or PCR. From these data, we estimate that there were 18,592 people with HAT (95% confidence interval, 4,883-32,302) in the DRC in 2007, slightly more than twice as many as were reported.