Chagas Disease

Mundo Sano promotes a series of community actions aimed at preventing, diagnosing and treating Chagas disease, which, according to Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) figures, affects between 8 and 10 million people all over the world.

It is originated by Trypanosoma cruzi, a parasite transmitted by vinchucas, which are insects that feed on blood and mainly live in rural and periurban areas of Latin America. Other forms of transmission are blood transfusions, organ transplantation and mother-child transmission during pregnancy.

In Argentina, Mundo Sano has been carrying out activities in strategic spots: in Añatuya, Santiago del Estero, it carries out entomological surveillance and control actions in the urban area, and since 2005 it has been developing a program for sanitary amelioration of rural houses.

Mundo Sano’s initiatives – backed by over twenty years of experience– are performed in close relation with the communities intervened, with strict care of and respect for their habits and customs.

Diagnosis and treatment of the disease

As part of this project, Mundo Sano develops actions of diagnosis and treatment of Chagas disease in Avellaneda District in Santiago del Estero, in the urban area of Pampa del Indio, Chaco province, and in the rural area of La Plata, Buenos Aires province. In all these cases it is supported by local health authorities.

Mundo Sano’s actions have also reached Spain in order to address the issue of Chagas disease in the communities of Latin American migrants. There, prevention, training, diagnosis and treatment actions are being carried out and the program Madres comprometidas con la enfermedad de Chagas (Mothers committed with Chagas disease) was launched, aimed at training infected women so that they can act as intercultural mediators and help in the tasks carried out by the foundation together with several health centers.

Within the framework of this project, by late 2011, it faced a new challenge: as a result of an important global crisis in benznidazole production, the main drug to treat Chagas disease, the foundation, together with the Ministry of Health of Argentina, convened Maprimed and Elea pharmaceuticals to have this drug wholly developed in Argentina. Thus, in March 2012, local production of benznidazole and its availability were announced. Since 2013, all countries in the Americas can have access to it through the strategic fund of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

Besides, benznidazole, –considered “an essential drug” by the World Health Organization (WHO) – was exported to Spain, Australia, Italy, Switzerland and Panama.

On the other hand, Mundo Sano signed an agreement with the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) to make Elea the second world producer of benznidazole pediatric formulation. The importance of this initiative lies in the evidence showing that detection and administration of the treatment in children infected with Chagas disease are essential: 9 out of 10 children treated during their first year of life are cured.