The Global Chagas Disease Coalition stages high-level event to encourage increased access to diagnosis and treatment of patients fighting Chagas disease

[Mexico City, Mexico – 11 August 2014]
Of the 8 million people infected in the world, 1 million are Mexican
At the 2014 International Congress of Parasitology (ICOPA), the Global Chagas Disease Coalition launched the event “Let’s Raise Our Voice” to alert the world that of the 8 million patients infected with Chagas disease, 99% have not been treated. The aim of this event is to promote an alliance among governments, civil society, doctors, researchers, and patients to discuss simple actions that can be taken to boost patient access to diagnosis and treatment.
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Recent data from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) reveals that more than 1 million people are infected with Chagas disease in Mexico, with 30 million at risk of contracting the disease. In the country each year, 7,700 new cases occur, with 1,100 children born with this disease.[1]

At the event, the Global Chagas Disease Coalition, along with researchers, patients, neglected-disease experts, and government representatives, will collectively assess a series of measures for patient diagnosis and treatment for Chagas disease, ensuring quality and access.

Treatment access is not only the responsibility of the government, but also civil society. Doctors must identify people at risk and follow up on treatment recommendations for patients with acute and indeterminate chronic Chagas disease, as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). Civil society organizations should raise awareness about Chagas treatment, promoting it, actively engaging to find a solution, and providing support to those who most need it. By joining efforts, a healthier and more equitable future can be achieved for the 8 million people who suffer from Chagas disease.

During the event, the artist Shelly Xie will perform a storytelling performance with sand art. A video will follow to explain the figures of the disease and the need for urgent treatment.

The Global Chagas Disease Coalition was launched in New York in December 2012. Its objective is to promote access to diagnosis and treatment for patients with Chagas and to encourage global efforts to develop new tools to fight this disease. It is made up of civil society organizations including the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), Mundo Sano Foundation, CEADES, Sabin Vaccine Institute, Baylor College of Medicine, and Texas Children ́s Hospital.

The Global Chagas Disease Coalition invites everyone to take part and join efforts to contribute and exchange and gain knowledge. The coalition is open to scientific opinion-leaders, the pharmaceutical industry, patients, and everyone who is an active player in the community and affected by Chagas disease.

Participants:

  • Pablo Kuri Morales, Health Secretary, Mexico;
  • Bernard Pécoul, Executive Director, DNDi;
  • Dr. Tamara Mancero, Pan American Health Organization, Mexico (tbc);
  • Igor Almeida, University of Texas; and
  • Elvira Idalia Hernandéz Cuevas, Mexican Association of People Affected by Chagas Disease, AMEPACH.

For more information on the Global Chagas Disease Coalition organizations:

 

Media Contacts in Mexico:

Catalina de la Puente – Global Chagas Disease Coalition Coordinator – chagas@chagascoalition.org – +54 92214631573

Daniel Salman – DNDi Communication Analyst – dsalman@dndi.org – +55 21 9811 2798

Betina Moura – DNDi Communication Manager – bmoura@dndi.org – +55 21993710925



[1] PAHO: Quantitative estimation of Chagas disease in America. Pan American Health Organization Montevideo, Uruguay, 2006. OPS/HDM/CD/425-06.