APOPO is an innovative organization that works to establish a cost and time effective solution to landmine clearance in post-conflict areas and improve Tuberculosis detection in developing countries. We train and deploy detection rats to support our work, by using their exceptional sense of smell to sniff out unexploded landmines buried in the ground, and identify positive tuberculosis samples within a laboratory setting.
What is the issue, problem, or challenge?
Landmines pose a structural barrier to development and economic growth, long after war ends. Detection of landmines is difficult, dangerous, costly and time-consuming. Trained detection rats offer an efficient and cost effective solution to this problem. Meanwhile, Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease of poverty which caused 990,000 deaths in 2011. In Tanzania, only 50% of TB patients are diagnosed. HeroRATs quickly and accurately sniff out TB in human sputum samples, increasing new case findings.
How will this project solve this problem?
Detection rats offer an efficient, accurate and cost-effective alternative technology to combat two global humanitarian detection challenges. APOPO utilizes a readily available resource, and involves and employs local communities in the solution - thereby helping to initiate economic development and create positive social change.
Potential Long Term Impact
By creating local employment and encouraging development, APOPO provides a cost-effective solution to global humanitarian challenges. The work of our trained rats reduces landmine casualties, and enables communities to utilize their land for agricultural purposes or infrastructure development. Also, fast, effective TB diagnosis means patients can access treatment sooner, reducing the spread of the deadly virus and limiting the impact on the patient's family and the wider community.
Total Funding Received to Date: $118,896
Remaining Goal to be Funded: $31,104
Total Funding Goal: $150,000