- The award recognizes Silvia Gold’s, Mundo Sano’s president, work and dedication to change the history of Chagas disease.
- Currently, Mundo Sano is promoting the “Not a single baby with Chagas” campaign to ensure that all babies and women of childbearing age have access to diagnosis and treatment.
- This disease affects 8 million people in the world. In Spain it’s estimated that there are between 50,000 and 100,000 people affected. Worldwide, about 9,000 babies are born annually with Chagas.
Murcia, July 14. The biochemistry doctor Silvia Gold, Mundo Sano’s president, has received the Gold Medal of the Royal Academy of Medicine and Surgery of Murcia for her work and commitment to change the reality of Chagas disease in the last 20 years. María Trinidad Herrero, president of the institution, has imposed this recognition. This is the highest award offered by the Royal Academy of Medicine and Surgery of Murcia and has only been delivered 7 times in its 207 years of existence to personalities whose trajectories have proven to be in line with the principles of cultivation and extension of science medical and health – great pride that one of them went to César Milstein-.
During the presentation, Silvia Gold thanked especially for this recognition, highlighting the work of the Tropical Medicine Unit (UMT) of the Region of Murcia as “inspiring, for being an example not only in Spain, but in the world” and ensuring that “from Mundo Sano we think that the vertical transmission cut of Chagas disease is an attainable goal and that it´s a first step towards the elimination of Chagas disease. Therefore, we have launched a global communication campaign called: “Not a single baby with Chagas”, which is our first experience in using a new language and dare to a message in which we believe: Chagas is cured!”. Silvia Gold closed her words by thanking the academy again and affirming that “it reveals to us the injustice of a disease for which medicine has treatment that people do not access. Therefore, with the conviction that change is possible, and with optimism as an attitude, we commit ourselves to achieve it. ”
During the event, Manuel Segovia Hernández, Head of the Tropical Medicine Unit of the Virgen de Arrixaca Hospital and Professor of the Department of Genetics and Microbiology of the University of Murcia, explained the meaning of the “laudatio” in an exciting speech, summarized and ordered, but mostly warm and very human. Likewise, he highlighted the productive alliance between Mundo Sano, the Ministry of Health of the Autonomous Community of Murcia and the University of Murcia itself, which, together with the World Health Organization and the Carlos III Institute, has achieved that The region of Murcia is the first autonomous community with a plan for the elimination of congenital Chagas disease, with one of the world’s largest diagnostic and treatment coverages. In addition, the work of the unit led by Manuel Segovia Hernández has allowed Murcia to be the third autonomous community that deals with the most cases of Chagas in Spain. Closing the event, María Trinidad Herrero, president of the institution, has expressed that “the impossible does not exist. Humans can get it all. That is the message left by our honoree today, which stands out for having solidarity engraved on fire. She, her team and her family had the ability to glimpse the problem of this disease and address it holistically. Therefore, it’s an honor that permeates us with his generosity and creative intuition in the Royal Academy”. Silvia Gold’s commitment to Chagas Disease and other neglected diseases began more than 20 years ago when she took over the Mundo Sano, created by her father, Dr. Roberto Gold. In 2010, when the shortage of the medicine for the treatment of Chagas, benznidazole, was declared, Mundo Sano, together with the ELEA-Phoenix laboratory in Argentina and Insud Pharma in Spain, promoted an alliance to start production first in Argentina, a country that counts with more than a million and a half affected, and then in Spain. Currently the medicine is distributed in 21 countries.Another of the great achievements of the Mundo Sano was to facilitate access to Chagas treatment in the United States, where there are more than 300,000 people affected. In 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted approval of the drug, becoming one of the biggest milestones in the recent history of the disease. In 2019, the Mundo Sano launches the “Not a single baby with Chagas” campaign, in order to make this disease visible and ensure that all women of childbearing age and all babies born with Chagas contracted by transmission during pregnancy, access the diagnosis and treatment . Thanks to the progress in controlling vector and transfusion transmissions, there is currently a great concern to control the vertical or congenital transmission pathway, of a mother infected to her unborn child. Every year in the world 9,000 infected babies are born, one every hour, and most do not access the diagnosis or treatment. The proposed objective is that in 2030 not a single baby is born with Chagas.