APOPO is a social enterprise that researches, develops and implements detection rats technology for humanitarian purposes such as Mine Action and Tuberculosis detection. APOPO is a Belgian NGO, with headquarters in Tanzania and operations in Mozambique, Thailand, Angola and Cambodia.
On Wednesday the 23rd of November, APOPO celebrated the opening of its new HeroRAT TB Detection Facility in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Partners, donors and clinic staff alike attended the celebration with words from The Honourable Ummy Mwalimu (MP) - Minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (Represented by Dr Mohamed A. Mohamed – Director of Health Quality Assurance, Ministry of Health).
The HeroRATs in Cambodia have helped our partner CMAC complete clearance of a second minefield since they were deployed at the beginning of the year.
Over the last thirty days, 6 landmines and 3 unexploded mortar bombs were found. Eight families, totaling around 40 people, have lived next door to the landmines for the last 25 years and have been forced to sometime farm on unsafe land in order to feed themselves. They are already getting on with the serious business of growing rice crops on the newly safe land.
In May 2016, APOPO reached a landmark of identifying 10,000 TB positive patients who were initially missed by their local clinics and sent home.
Last year, a team of eager HeroRATs arrived in Cambodia to support the Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC) demining teams and speed up demining operations in the country.. It was the first time the rats have been outside of Africa. After a period of acclimatization and continued training, the rat teams were rigorously tested according to the International Mine Action Standards (IMAS), and in early 2016 the HeroRATs were deployed on the minefield
The Giant Pouched Rat has become famous for its size and remarkable ability to save lives by sniffing out landmines and tuberculosis. The animal is found throughout sub-Saharan Africa with four main species identified - Cricetomys gambianus, Cricetomys emini, Cricetomys ansorgei, and Cricetomys kivuensis.
What species are the HeroRATs?
APOPO is a Belgian NGO that has developed an innovative method using African giant pouched rats, nicknamed “HeroRATs”, to detect landmines and tuberculosis using their extraordinary sense of smell. APOPO’s Head Office is based in Morogoro, Tanzania. For more information about APOPO, please check out our website at www.apopo.org.