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World Chagas Disease Day 2020

World Chagas Disease day is celebrated to raise awareness about the neglected tropical disease. This disease affects around 7 million of people around the world in which the majority of people are from Latin America and increasing in the movement of people globally this disease is now growing in Europe and North America. World Chagas Disease Day is observed on the 14th of April every year. The date 14th of April was chosen as on this date in 1909 the first patient was diagnosed with this disease.

Recently, in the 72nd World Health Assembly approved a World Chagas Day designation that aims to increase the public consciousness of this neglected tropical disease (NTD), which primarily affects the poor. This day is an opportunity to raise the profile of NTDs and all the resources required to control, eliminate or eradicate. The WHO has prepared the roadmap of NTD for 2021 to 2030.

Aim of celebrating World Chagas Disease Day

The World Chagas Disease Day is celebrated with a goal to make people aware of Chagas disease and to raise the resources required to avoid, monitor or eradicate the disease.

Chagas Disease is also known as American trypanosomiasis and mainly termed as a silent killer disease. This disease not only slows the clinical process but it also affects the people who do not have better access to health care and without treatment, Chagas disease can lead to severe cardiac and digestive fatal.

The World Chagas Day initiative was launched by the International Federation of Associations of Persons Afflicted with Chagas Diseases and sponsored by many health agencies, universities, research centers, national or international NGO networks, associations, and foundations.

Chagas disease is caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi found in the Triatome insect’s feces-better known as the ‘kissing bug’. Usually, after an insect bites a person and feeds on their blood, it defecates close to a bite. The worm, found in the accumulated feces on the skin, enters the bloodstream of the person through an opening in the skin when the individual scratches the itchy mark.

Facts about Chagas Disease

  • Due to Chagas Disease around 6 to 7 millions of people are affected.
  • Only 1 out of 10 people are diagnosed.
  • In Latin America, the main route of transmission (vector-borne transmission) took place through an insect called a Trypanosoma cruzi bug.
  • Up to 30% of individuals with chronic infections experience heart problems and up to 10% experience respiratory, neurological and mixed changes that may require specific care.
  • Every year 12,000 people die due to Chagas Disease.
  • 75 million people in Latin America live at the risk of contracting Chagas disease.
  • According to the reports, currently, only 1% of the Chagas disease patient have access to the treatment.
  • Vector control is Latin America’s most effective method of preventing the Chagas disease.
  • Blood screening is important for avoiding infection through transfusion and organ transplantation 

By celebrating World Chagas Disease Day will add a global voice to this forgotten disease.

Swikriti Dandotia