Colombia has new diagnostic algorithm for the Chagas Disease Implementation Pilot Projects

[November 2016]
The implementation Project for Chagas disease in Colombia is moving forward. After an epidemiological analysis, the partners confirmed the change of the diagnostic algorithm for the country’s pilot projects. With this new algorithm, positive cases for Chagas can now be confirmed by a simpler procedure test.

Colombia follows the serological recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO) to confirm Chagas disease in the chronic phase by two tests, performing a third one in case of discordance. Thereby, to confirm the diagnosis of Chagas disease during the chronic phase, two tests are required. The current algorithm with indirect immunofluorescence as a confirmation diagnosis, is distinguished by its complexity, being a barrier to scale-up diagnosis and the following integral care of the infected, preventing this confirmation from being done at the primary level of care, close to the patients.

The change in diagnosis policy is part of the DNDi Pilot Project, which began in 2015 when several interest groups involved with Chagas disease joined a seminar in Bogotá to tackle barriers to diagnosis and treatment for Chagas.

As a starting point, a Healthcare Route was developed and regulated in order to simplify the processes and to transfer the responsibilities from a specialized level to the primary healthcare centers. This will be carried out by performing joint implementation of the pilot project, whose objective is to validate a model of care for Chagas disease.


Chagas in Colombia

  • 437,960 people are infected
  • 4,800,000 are at risk of infection


The Healthcare Roadmap

The Healthcare Roadmap attempts to eliminate the access barriers to treatment and drugs that are faced by population affected by this disease:

  1. Development of the Comprehensive Healthcare Route for chronic Chagas infection, signed in July by the Ministerial Resolution 3202, which formalizes its implementation.
  2. Validation and performance analysis of diagnosis commercial serological tests.
  3. Proposal of an alternative diagnostic algorithm for overcoming barriers in diagnostic confirmation.
  4. Elaboration of the Pilot Project of Healthcare Route for Chagas Disease in the four endemic municipalities.
  5. Development of a Capacity Building and Training Plan for the healthcare personnel working with Chagas at the Colombian Health System in the four endemic municipalities.
  6. Training of Colombian health professionals in collaboration with the Chagas Coalition and CEADES in Bolivia.

The pilot project is a cooperation between DNDi, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, the National Institute of Health and the Departmental and Municipal Health Secretariats, funded by the Ministry of Health and Social Protection (Vector-Borne Disease Program) and the General System of Social Security in Health.

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