• Target disease: Chagas
  • Main partners (since project start): Casa de Chagas, Pernambuco, Brazil; Center of Excellence for Chagas Disease (CECD) at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, USA; E.S.E Hospital San Pedro Claver Mogotes, Colombia; E.S.E. San Antonio de Soatá Hospital, Colombia; ESE San Antonio de Tame, Colombia; Fiocruz, Fundaçao Oswaldo Cruz, Brazil; Fundación Mundo Sano, Argentina; Goiás State Department of Health, Brazil; Health Secretary of Boyacá, Casanare, Mogotes, Santader, and Soatá, Colombia; Hospital Regional de la Orinoquía ESE, Colombia; International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada; The International Federation of Associations of People Affected by Chagas disease (FINDECHAGAS), Brazil and Colombia; LAFEPE – Pharmaceutical Laboratory of Pernambuco, Brazil; Médecins Sans Frontières, Brazil; Ministry of Health, Brazil; Ministry of Health and Social Assistance, Guatemala; Ministry of Health and Social Protection, Colombia; National Institute of Health, Colombia; Special Administrative Health Unit – Arauca Department, Colombia; Soatá Town Hall, Boyacá, Colombia; Universidad de San Carlos, Guatemala; Universidade Federal do Ceará, Brazil; Universidade Federal de Goiás, Brazil; Universidade São Paolo (USP), Brazil
  • Project start: 2015
  • Funding (since project start): Fundación Mundo Sano, Argentina; International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada.


Overall objective:

  • Demonstrate the feasibility of scaling up access to diagnosis and treatment in pilot projects that can then be replicated on a larger scale



In 2015, DNDi launched an initiative to increase access to diagnosis and treatment to Chagas disease in close collaboration with local, regional, and national partners through pilot projects in several endemic countries.

In August 2017, DNDi‘s efforts received a considerable boost when pharmaceutical company Insud, with DNDi’s support, received a priority review voucher as a result of registering benznidazole for the treatment of Chagas disease with the US FDA.

The approach was first implemented in Colombia in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, targeting a highly endemic area for Chagas disease. The new patient-centred approach involves training health care staff, simplifying, and accelerating the procedure for diagnosis, and decentralizing treatment to ensure it is available closer to where patients live. In the two communities where the pilot was first implemented, 384 people were tested for Chagas disease in the first year, a ten-fold increase over the previous year. Wait times for diagnostic confirmation were reduced from an average of 364 to just 17 days, and there was a four-fold increase in the number of patients starting etiological treatment. In 2018, the Colombian project expanded to additional communities.

The positive experience and promising results of the Colombia project led to the development of a collaborative project in the U.S. focused on advancing public health research on Chagas disease, including the first large-scale prevalence study in a major U.S. city in 2017.

Projects were also launched along the same model in Guatemala with local and international partners, and in Brazil in partnership with the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation. Seminars were held in Jutiapa, Guatemala, and in Rio de Janeiro and Recife, Brazil to identify the main barriers and develop actions to strengthen disease control and treatment access.


Ending the neglect of Chagas in Colombia

Bringing Chagas disease care to a remote Colombian region: read the visual story

The Science Explained

Improving access to testing for Chagas disease in Colombia

Screenshot of the Science Explained on Improving access to testing for Chagas disease in ColombiaEnglish


Last update: August 2019