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Celebrating World Chagas Disease Day for first time in 2020

Celebrating World Chagas Disease Day for first time in 2020

Kolkata, Apr 12 (UNI) For the first time, the global community is preparing to celebrate
April 14 as the first World Chagas Disease Day.
One of the aims is to raise the visibility and public awareness of people with Chagas
Disease and the resources needed for the prevention, control or elimination of the
The proposal to designate April 14 as World Chagas Disease Day was initiated by
the International Federation of Associations of People Affected by Chagas Disease.
On May 24, 2019, the World Health Assembly – WHO’s decision-making body -
endorsed the proposal, which was supported by several health institutions,
universities, research centres, national or international nongovernmental platforms,
organizations and foundations.
Celebrating World Chagas Disease Day on April 14 will provide a unique opportunity
to add a global voice in favour of this and other neglected tropical diseases.
Chagas disease, also called American trypanosomiasis, has been termed as a
“silent and silenced disease”, not only because of its slowly progressing and
frequently asymptomatic clinical course but also because it affects mainly poor
people who have no political voice or access to health care.
Once endemic in Latin American countries, Chagas disease is now present in
many others, making it a global health problem.
It was on this date in 1909 that the first patient, a Brazilian girl named Berenice
Soares de Moura, was diagnosed for this disease by Dr Carlos Ribeiro Justiniano
The main route of transmission (vector-borne transmission) has occurred in Latin
America through the insect called triatomine bug, which can carry the Trypanosoma
Other routes of transmission include: oral (food-borne) transmission, blood/blood
products transfusion, mother-to-child (congenital) and organ transplantation
transmissions or even laboratory accident transmission.
Raising awareness and the profile of this neglected tropical disease, which is often
diagnosed in its late stages, is essential to improve the rates of early treatment and
cure, together with the interruption of its transmission.
Evidence-based, cost-effective interventions exist, including screening (blood,
organs and of new-borns and children), early case detection, prompt treatment of
cases, vector control, hygiene and food safety.

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