Train Hamisi the HeroRat to detect TB in Tanzania

$6,052 $0
Raised Remaining


Born in December 2012 in Morogoro, Tanzania, Hamisi is a young, energetic rat that is being trained to detect tuberculosis. HeroRats like Hamisi have saved over 2,900 lives by correctly identifying tuberculosis positive patients that were originally missed by microscopy in local hospitals in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Hamisi is full of energy and loves banana treats as a positive reward for his good work. His hobbies include grooming, tunneling, and the Friday Feast we give him and his friends.

What is the issue, problem, or challenge?

In Tanzania, tuberculosis (TB) is the third major cause of death after malaria and HIV/AIDS. The lack of a fast, efficient and simple TB diagnostic method is one of the main reasons for the fast spread of tuberculosis. APOPO is working towards eradicating TB in Sub-Saharan Africa by training locally available rats, such as Hamisi, to evaluate sputum samples more swiftly and efficiently.

How will this project solve this problem?

Hamisi will be fully trained in about five months after a rigorous training, and then will be able to evaluate (sniff) more samples in ten minutes than one lab technician can evaluate in one day. Hamisi will screen hundreds of patients every month from sputum samples collected at TB clinics in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. As a result, many TB patients who were first diagnosed as negative by hospitals, would then be identified as positive and can be treated, curbing the spread of TB.

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 through fast, effective TB diagnosis means thousands of 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.

Funding Information

Total Funding Received to Date: $6,052

Funding Information

This project is now in implementation and no longer available for funding. Received funds will be used to accomplish concrete objectives as indicated in the project's "Activities" section. Updates will be posted under the "Project Report" tab as they become available.

Donors' contributions and pledges to this project totaled $6,052 .  The original project funding goal was $6,000.



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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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Support APOPO's rats in their life-saving missions
APOPO is a Belgian NGO that has developed an innovative system deploying African giant pouched rats (nicknamed HeroRATs) to detect landmines or tuberculosis, using their extraordinary sense of smell. APOPO's scent detection technology has a massive potential to relieve human suffering and promote development when deployed in TB and landmine response, as well as in currently unexplored fields. APOPO has programs in Tanzania, Mozambique, Angola and Cambodia. project reportread updates from the field



Morogoro, Tanzania, Tanzania, United Republic of

Project Leader

Chris Hines

Morogoro, Tanzania, United Republic of

Where is this project located?

Map of Train Hamisi the HeroRat to detect TB in Tanzania