Apopo is an innovative organization that uses trained detection rats to tackle a surprising variety of humanitarian challenges. Their approach to using these rats for landmine and tuberculosis detection is based on scientific research, and their methods are well documented for easy duplication. Apopo’s methods are innovative, interesting, and ground-breaking. Tackling such diverse problems as health issues and landmine removal requires a powerful combination of skills and provides much-needed services for these communities.
The idea to use rats in mine detection was thoroughly researched in the mid- to late 1990s through a number of feasibility and scientific studies. The research proves this approach is not only interesting but also effective. The studies also included selecting the proper species to train for the project. The landmine program is functioning in four countries on two continents and has detected and deactivated more than 3,100 landmines, 13,000 small munitions, and 1,800 bombs. The giant trained rats used for landmine detection are too light to set off the landmines, so there are no exploding rats.The tuberculosis detection program has identified more than 4,000 cases of TB during outbreaks in Africa, where quick diagnosis and treatment are crucial.
Apopo exemplifies almost all of the criteria used by the Humanist Giving staff to identify and select quarterly beneficiaries. Foundation Beyond Belief is proud to support this outstanding organization.