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What is a tsetse fly?

A type of fly that appears grayish/ brownish has one pair of wings, while at rest the wings overlap and the mouth parts point forward.   There are various types of tsetse flies that transmit the disease in African region
Over 70 – 75% of land mass in Uganda is infested with tsetse flies.
Tsetse flies live mainly in Savanna woodland, forests, riverine, bushes / shrubs and swampy areas. Both males and females depend on a blood meal from human, livestock and wild game hence spreading the disease through this mechanism.
Establishment of presence of the flies in any given area is through conductive tsetse surveys using blue, black and white coloured tsetse traps.  There are different types of traps with varied shapes.

Traps are effective in a series of ways:

  • Tsetse flies are attracted by the set trap of blue, black and white coloured segmented material.
  • Flies on the trap, are attracted mainly by black colour
  • In the absence of animal/human to feed on, the it flies up and is trapped in the collecting cage.
  • Traps can be baited with attractive colours which smell like cows to increase daily catches.

Tsetse fly control traps are treated by being dipped   in appropriate insecticide that kills the fly when in contact.
Risk factors for the presence of the fly (vector)

  • Humid temperature of 25o – 26oc
  • Dry sandy beaches under the shade of dense vegetations (breeding sites)
  • Presence of leaf litter in thickets or forests.
  • Presence of species of vegetation (lantana camara or euphorbia hedge plants).

Tsetse control and eradication activities commonly used in the country:

  • Deployment of insecticide treated tsetse fly traps
  • Deployment of odour baits insecticide treatment targets / screens.
  • Insecticide application on live stock through spraying, dipping and pour on.
  • Ground spraying, by applying insecticide on resting / breeding sites.
  • Use of aerial spraying
  • Use of sterile male insecticide technique especially during tsetse eradication phase.
  • Clearing of bush around homesteads.

What is your role as a community mobilizer?

  • The core role is to mobilize your community members in the control and eradication of African  Trypanosomiasis activities including utilization of the services available or provided.   
  • Support and participate in the control and eradication activities of African Trypanosomiasis and the tsetse flies during the planning, implementation, monitoring, support supervision and evaluation stages.


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