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.