Voices of Chagas in the USA

Woman sitting at a tableAround 300,000 people have Chagas disease in the USA. Read the stories of people living with this silent disease in California.

An HIV/VL patient’s long road to better treatment

Man sitting on a bed in a hospital

Nigatu Abebe from Ethiopia sits on a bed in the Leishmaniasis Research and Treatment Centre (LRTC) at the University of Gondar in Ethiopia. He looks very frail and has been battling against visceral leishmaniasis (VL), also known as kala-azar, and HIV for 11 years.

2018 in Review

Dr Kande in DRC screening patients in a village

2018 showed us that another way to develop life-saving drugs is possible. Travel the globe with us to see how 15 years of patient-focused research and development (R&D) are bearing fruit for the most neglected patients.

Making Medical History

More than 180 friends, supporters, partners, celebrities, and global health influencers celebrated our 15-year anniversary with us at our Making Medical History Gala in New York City.

Revealing the Neglect: Chagas Disease

Yerko grew up in Bolivia in the small community of El Forestal in the east of the country. As a child, he and his family lived in a house with walls made of adobe bricks and a roof of palm leaves. Hidden inside the cracks and crevices in the walls and roof were kissing bugs. Yerko wanted to become a pharmacist to help people in need, but became a victim of Chagas disease.

Revealing the Neglect: River Blindness

“It just went completely white.” This is the how fisherman Akoyo Osumaka describes going blind in 2011, in the remote village of Babagulu in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It was a slow, creeping blindness that began a year earlier. It robbed him of his livelihood and threw his family life into disarray.

No longer silent

Jessica was the last member of her family to come to Los Angeles from El Salvador in search of a better life. She came from a small village and remembers seeing chinches – kissing bugs – on the floor of the adobe house where she lived as a child.

She was bitten but thought nothing of it.

2017 in Review

PKDL Patient

From drug-resistant gonorrhoea in the US to sleeping sickness in Africa, the need to develop effective and affordable treatments has driven our work in every corner of the globe. Revisit the highlights of our year at the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative.

The challenge of conducting clinical trials in remote and conflict areas

The journey to the sleeping sickness trial site in Isangi from the DNDi office in Kinshasa begins in the domestic airport of DRC’s capital city and ends more than a day later halfway across the country in a barge crossing the Congo river. In between: hours spent navigating potholed dirt roads, collapsed bridges, checkpoints, and multiple river crossings. Once at Isangi, canoes must be used to reach many of the patients as there are no roads.

Yet for DNDi’s clinical team in DRC, Isangi is one of the easier-to-reach sites. The DRC and the Central African Republic (CAR) both pose daunting challenges that must be overcome to develop better treatments for patients suffering from sleeping sickness.

The search for treatments for HIV/VL co-infected patients continues

HIV-VL patient with nurseVisceral Leishmaniasis
Ethiopia

Thirty-five year old Tsadik is a visceral leishmaniasis (VL) patient who is also infected with HIV. He is gaunt, weak and tired, with sunken eyes. Each breath he takes is laboured. Tsadik lives in Abdurafi, a region of northwest Ethiopia that is characterized with high VL-HIV co-infection because VL is endemic….

Caring for Kids with HIV and TB

Sani sits in the doorway of her one-room house with her baby girl Mel in her arms. A pink sunset illuminates the Durban township of KwaMashu that unfolds below her clifftop house. She looks lovingly at Mel, then takes out a syringe and struggles to give the two-year-old,a medicine that is over 40% alcohol.

Mycetoma: A Simple Thorn Prick

Every Monday morning at a clinic on the dusty outskirts of the Sudanese capital Khartoum, sufferers of one of the world’s most neglected disease flock to the only place in the world that can offer them specialized care and treatment. Patients stream through the gates limping, on crutches, pushed by worried relatives on rusty wheelchairs or carried. Most have bandaged legs, many are amputees.

Duámaco Escribano

Chagas Disease
Colombia

Duámaco Escribano is infected with Chagas disease, a parasite borne disease. In the indigenous community to which he belongs, the Koguis – one of the four ethnic groups living in the Sierra Nevada, on the north coast of Colombia – life is not measured in years: it starts with birth and ends with death, however long it may be…

Elsemani Widaa

Dr_Elsemani_Widaa_1Mycetoma
Sudan

Dr Elsemani Widaa is a surgeon from the Mycetoma Research Centre, Sudan,
which is the country’s treatment reference centre for patients’ suffering from the
disease. He has worked at the Centre for over two years, and even in this short
period of time, he has seen and treated hundreds of patients. The challenges
that doctors face in treating mycetoma are many, the most serious of which problem
is the fact that the only available drug for treating the fungal form of the disease
(eumycetoma) is toxic and ultimately ineffective, but currently, it is all there is.

Juan Bautista

Juan BatistaChagas Disease
Colombia

For Juan Bautista Corzo Veloza, a 53 year old, father of three,  life is
not the same since that day in January 2013 when a stroke left him
“dead for three days,” he says. He was changing a tire while performing
his duty as a driver, a job to which he had dedicated himself after
retiring from the National Police, when he began to feel a sharp
pain in his chest along with a slow loss of consciousness.