These African giant pouched rat’s are trained in landmine and tuberculosis detection. A tuberculosis detection rat screens a hundred samples in 20 minutes, this would take a lab technician four days. Mine-Detection rats can search around 200 square meters in 20 minutes. This would take 25 operational hours using metal detectors. That’s up to 96 times faster than conventional methods. They can detect both metal and plastic-cased landmines, making them highly efficient landmine detectors.
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.
Some 60 countries around the world are still affected by landmines and other leftover explosives. These cause tragic accidents and pose a barrier to development and economic growth. APOPO continues to develop approaches that combine existing de-mining technology with its innovative Mine Detection Rats (HeroRATs), in order to return mine-free land back to communities as quickly as possible.
Tuberculosis (TB) is now the world’s leading cause of death due to an infectious disease. Every year TB claims 1,5 million lives and an untreated TB-patient can infect a dozen other people per year, making the need for faster TB diagnosis paramount. APOPO is working towards curbing the spread of TB by training African giant pouched rats to evaluate sputum samples more swiftly and efficiently.