About Carolina

Name: Carolina (CAH-RO-LEE-NAH)
Sex: Female
Date of birth: 5th September 2016
Job title: Tuberculosis Detection Rat
Birthplace: Morogoro, Tanzania
Current Location: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Length: 64 cm
Weight: 1.01 kg
Favourite food: Watermelon
Personality: Cheeky and dedicated



Carolina is one of our most gentle HeroRATs and is very dedicated to her work. She took on the role of our adoption TB HeroRAT in December 2018 when her colleague Chewa sadly passed away. She is just as talented at sniffing out tuberculosis and is a wonder to watch moving from hole to hole in the search of tuberculosis.

Day in the life

Every afternoon, this little specialist gets up, excited to begin her day. For two 20 minute sessions, punctuated by a nap and some play time, she quickly searches 100 samples of human sputum for tuberculosis. She does this by sniffing deeply at each sample then letting her human colleagues know she has found TB, by holding her nose over the hole for 3 secs.

The tuberculosis threat

Tuberculosis (TB) is very contagious and airborne. An untreated tuberculosis patient can infect up to 15 other people a year. Yearly 10.4 million people worldwide are infected with TB and some 1.7 million of those die. The disease is largely curable, but first it must be diagnosed which can prove challenging. That's where Carolina comes in.


1. Tuberculosis ranks as the world’s leading cause of death from an infectious disease, claiming 1.4 million lives worldwide every year.

2.For every additional patient placed on TB treatment, HeroRATs like Carolina potentially help halt the spread of TB to up to 15 other people per year.

3.A TB detection rat can check 100 sputum samples for TB in as little as 20 minutes. This would typically take a lab technician up to 4 days using conventional microscopy. Any suspect samples are then re-checked using WHO endorsed confirmation tests.

4.Carolina and the HeroRATs have helped raise detection rates in our partner public clinics by 40%.

5.In Sub-Saharan Africa, half of the TB patients remain undiagnosed or untreated and globally this number is as high as 2.9 million. These ‘missed’ TB positive patients usually include the most vulnerable and those without proper access to care

Stories: Husna
My mother in-law began getting chest pains, but doctors didn't know why. She got very sick, and then the rest of the family got sick too...


TB Samples Sniffed


Accuracy (Known Samples)


Additional Samples Indicated



Welcome Pack

A digital Welcome Pack stacked full of pictures, facts, figures, and quotes that will tell you everything you need to know.

Adoption Certificate

A digital certificate of adoption with your name on it.

Monthly Impact Updates

Monthly updates direct to your email inbox to keep you up to date with the latest news and information from the field.


The quickest way to find to the answer to your question is to take take a look at our FAQ page. If you still need help, send us a message here and we’ll get back to you right away. Alternatively, you can email herorats@apopo.org