The HeroRATs Campaign was launched by its parent organization, APOPO, to tell the stories of the rats that are changing the world, the trainers who teach them everything they know, and the people whose lives have been touched by their heroic efforts. Our goal is to make the issues of tuberculosis and landmine terror accessible and to help share the work we do to provide solutions to these issues.
Landmines hamper reconstruction and the delivery of aid, hold up the repatriation of refugees and displaced people, and deprive some of the poorest people of land and infrastructure, therefore hindering access to social and economic development. Africa is struck more by the landmine legacy than any other continent on the planet. A trained HeroRAT can clear 100 m2 in 20 minutes, equivalent to two days work for a manual deminer.
HeroRATs also reliably detect pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) in human sputum samples. Tuberculosis was the first pathogen addressed, as TB kills more youth and adults than any other single infectious disease in the world today. Africa has the highest number of lethal cases per capita. Currently, in seven minutes one rat can evaluate 40 samples, which is the equivalent of one day of work via microscopy for a lab technician. What takes a man a day with a microscope, a trained rat can screen in seven minutes!