Proposed multidimensional framework for understanding Chagas disease healthcare barriers in the United States

by Forsyth C, Meymandi S, Moss I, Cone J, Cohen R, Batista C. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases 2019, 13(9): e0007447.

Summary: Untreated Chagas disease can produce fatal complications, but fewer than 1% of the over 300,000 people affected in the United States have been diagnosed, and less than 0.3% have received etiological treatment. The authors analyse the barriers to diagnosis and treatment in the US, a nation with one of the world’s most advanced healthcare systems. 34 barriers were grouped into four main types: structural, systemic, clinical, and psychosocial. The authors propose a multidimensional framework to explain the low numbers of people tested and treated, and as a potential basis for organizing a public health response. Expanding access to diagnosis and treatment of Chagas disease in the US means asserting the rights of vulnerable populations to obtain timely, quality healthcare.

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