Chagas disease still exists.

Contrary to what many think, Chagas disease still affects around 8 millions of people worldwide, especially in Latin America where it is endemic. The problem is that the majority of those who are infected don’t know since they have never been diagnosed.

If left untreated, the disease can cause heart and digestive system problems years after infection.

Help make

these People Visible

World Day for people Affected by Chagas Disease is about making Chagas more visible, an importante and valuable contribution to the millions of people that suffers from this disease. The International Federation of Associations of People Affected by Chagas Disease (FINDECHAGAS) has released an on-line petition to support the recognition of April 14th as the oficial date. The proposal will be voted at the 72nd World Health Assembly, which will take place in May in Geneva, Switzerland.

Why this day? On April 14th, 1909, the Brazilian doctor Carlos Chagas made the first diagnosis of the disease in the girl Berenice Soares. Exactly 110 years later, the disease continues to affect the health and quality of live of many people.

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About Chagas disease

Chagas disease is an infectious disease caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma Cruzi. Well-known for being caused by the bite of the “kissing bug” insect in the Americas, it is actually transmitted when humans come into contact with the contaminated feces of this insect, which can happen when someone is bitten, or when they ingest contaminated food. However, few know that Chagas disease can also be transmitted from an infected mother to her baby.

There are more than around 8 million people affected by Chagas disease in the world today, but only 1 out of 10 patients have been diagnosed. There is treatment for the disease, but if left untreated it can generate severe heart and digestive system problems over the years (like increased heart size).

Chagas disease is endemic across Latin America. The disease is not outdated and has not been overcome; about 65 million people are still at risk of being infected in the world, and 12 thousand people die every year due to associated conditions.

As a neglected disease, it has fallen into the oblivion of society and public policies with almost no commitments or investments to fight it. But Chagas disease is still a serious public health problem.

Nowadays, the majority of people living with the disease are in urban areas and many live in non-endemic countries. The places where affected people are located has changed and transmission has been significantly reduced, but challenges related to access to diagnosis and treatment still remain.

Watch testimonials
from people affected by Chagas disease and MSF professionals on the invisibility of the illness and its consequences.

Diagnosis and treatment

See where you can find them

Download the contact list

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Diagnosis and treatment for Chagas disease must be offered by the public health system of your country, preferably as a basic services.

Open the pdf and see the contact list to have further information on access to diagnosis and treatment in many different countries.

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