Obama’s grandmother will fight tsetse fly



President Barack Obama’s paternal step-grandmother, Sarah Obama, 87, will help eradicate the tsetse fly, an insect that causes sleeping sickness, or trypanosomiasis. She was given a spray pump and insecticide by African Union representatives during a visit to her Kenyan village (Kogelo) last month to treat 3,000 animals. Yes, animals can be infected with the disease, just like humans.

According to the World Health Organization:

Human African Trypanosomiasis, also known as sleeping sickness, is a vector-borne parasitic disease. The parasites concerned are protozoa belonging to the Trypanosoma Genus. They are transmitted to humans by tsetse fly (Glossina Genus) bites which have acquired their infection from human beings or from animals harbouring the human pathogenic parasites. Tsetse flies are found in Sub-Saharan Africa. Only certain species transmit the disease. Different species have different habitats. They are mainly found in vegetation by rivers and lakes, in gallery-forests and in vast stretches of wooded savannah. Sleeping sickness occurs only in sub-Saharan Africa in regions where there are tsetse flies that can transmit the disease. For reasons that are so far unexplained, there are many regions where tsetse flies are found, but sleeping sickness is not.


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