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World Chagas Disease Day observed for the first time

World Chagas Disease Day observed for the first time

The World Chagas Disease Day is observed for the first time across the globe on 14 April 2020. The objective of the day is to increase awareness about the visibility and public awareness of people with Chagas Disease and the means required to prevent, control or eliminate the disease.

Key Points:

  • Chagas disease is also known as American trypanosomiasis and has been termed as a “silent and silenced disease”.
  • Since it affects mainly poor people who have no political voice or access to health care and progresses slowly and is mostly asymptomatic during the clinical course.
  • Chagas disease was once endemic in Latin American countries but has become a global health problem.
  • 14 April was selected as on this date in 1909, the first patient of a Brazilian descent Berenice Soares de Moura, was diagnosed with the disease by Dr Carlos Ribeiro Justiniano Chagas.
  • Raising awareness and early diagnosis of tropical disease is vital for the improvement in the rates of early treatment and cure.
  • Interventions like screening the blood, organs and of new-borns and children are cost-effective ways for early detection and faster treatment of the cases.
  • Vectorial transmission of the disease is a possibility (T. cruzi parasites are mainly transmitted by contact with faeces/urine of infected blood-sucking triatomine bugs.)
  • The Chagas disease if not treated on time, can lead to cardiac and digestive alterations and may be fatal.
  • The International Federation of Associations of People Affected by Chagas Disease gave the proposal for designating 14 April as World Chagas Disease Day.

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