Providing comprehensive care for Chagas disease sufferers

Providing comprehensive care for Chagas disease sufferers

  • Fundación Probitas joins the #WorldChagasDay campaign "All we need is your attention"
  • Chagas disease affects more than 6 million people
  • In 2020, 4 projects have been launched in Bolivia, Argentina and Nicaragua

In 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) approved the request of the International Federation of Associations of People Affected by Chagas Disease (FINDECHAGAS) to designate 14th April as World Chagas Day in order to highlight the need to provide comprehensive care for the more than 6 million people who suffer from one of the most neglected diseases on the planet, according to the WHO.

Fundación Probitas joins this world day to raise awareness of Chagas disease, a Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD), with the aim of continuing to improve early detection, expanding diagnostic coverage and equitable access to comprehensive clinical care for Chagas disease in vulnerable populations.

The foundation, which is part of the Chagas Coalition, supports cooperation projects for the eradication of the disease in Bolivia, Argentina, and Nicaragua, reaching 20,000 direct beneficiaries by 2020. In Bolivia, Fundación Probitas is working with the Intercultural NorSud Foundation on a project to combat Chagas disease in the endemic Chaco region in order to reduce its incidence. Through this alliance, a participative prevention model has been implemented, strengthening health services with capacities for prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment, and patient follow-up.

On the other hand, in Argentina, the foundation has promoted, together with the FIPEC Foundation, the use of innovative molecular biology techniques for the early diagnosis of syphilis and congenital Chagas disease focused on the control of mother-to-child transmission diseases. In addition, it has been possible to determine the burden of these infections in vulnerable populations attended in public centres with the aim of providing the best therapeutic options for the inhabitants.

Within the framework of Fundación Probitas' collaboration with the WHO on Chagas disease, the activities have focused on diagnosis, the active search for cases, and the treatment and interruption of mother-to-child transmission, as well as strengthening the quality control system in laboratories.

FINDECHAGAS points out that, with the arrival of Covid-19, "people affected by Chagas disease have been more vulnerable and, furthermore, the health services' care programmes have also reduced their capacity to attend to us due to the efforts made in response to the pandemic. The disease can cause very severe complications if it is not diagnosed and treated in time, even affecting the ability to lead a healthy working, social and family life, which is why we believe it is very important to expand training and awareness-raising for workers of health centres closest to the rural and urban communities most affected by the disease".