14 April 2020. First World Chagas Disease Day
After 111 years since the first diagnosis of Chagas Disease in humans, the World Health Organization (WHO) established 14 April as the first official World Day to remind us of the challenges faced by those affected by this neglected disease.
Although the current coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic demands greatest attention at this critical moment, this first World Chagas Disease day aims at making visible those people affected by this disease, who have been historically marginalized from the priority agenda of health systems. This is especially important for many of the people affected by Chagas disease, who are part of the population vulnerable to the Covid-19 pandemic.
For this reason, we are here today to say that early diagnosed Chagas disease can be treated, that great progress has been made to reduce vector-transmitted cases, and that we should consolidate these achievements and advance towards the control of mother-to-child transmission of the disease.
There are about 7 million people infected in the world. Every year, about 9,000 babies are born with the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, and more than 12,000 people die. Moreover, more than 75 million people are estimated to be at risk of becoming infected. For this reason, early diagnosis and treatment are very important, since the available medicines achieve very good results