APOPO trains African giant pouched rats (nicknamed HeroRATs) to detect landmines and tuberculosis (TB) using their amazing sense of smell. APOPO's HeroRATs have huge potential to relieve human suffering and promote development when used in landmine detection and TB detection. With your support, APOPO is also training HeroRATs for search and rescue and wildlife trafficking prevention leading the way in animal scent detection innovation, all for the purpose of saving lives.
Landmines maim or kill innocent people every day. In 2021, 2,182 people were killed and 3,355 were injured, while half of all civilian casualties were devastatingly children (source: Landmine Monitor). Tuberculosis (TB) is the second biggest infectious killer after COVID-19 and 1.5 million people died from TB in 2021 alone (source: WHO). In many high TB-burden countries, patients are missed or go undetected by the health system. Both landmines and TB pose a structural barrier to development.
HeroRATs are an efficient and accurate solution to landmine removal and TB detection. HeroRATs rapidly and accurately find landmines, ignoring scrap metal, searching an area the size of a tennis court in 30 mins, versus up to 4 days with a metal detector! Landmine removal saves lives and initiates development creating positive social change. HeroRATs also find 40% additional cases on top of what partner clinics are finding! Detection of this deadly disease saves lives and provides treatment.
APOPO's programs around the world employ local staff, creating jobs, as well as providing a cost-effective solution to global humanitarian challenges. HeroRATs reduce landmine casualties and enable communities to utilize their land. HeroRATs TB detection means patients can access treatment sooner, reducing the spread of the deadly virus. HeroRATs could also be used for other important global issues, such as preventing wildlife trafficking and in search and rescue operations.
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