Published on: April 16, 2022




World Chagas Day is observed annually on the 14th of April


  • The 72nd World Health Assembly, 2019 approved the designation of Chagas Disease
  • Called silent because it progresses slowly, and silenced because it mainly affects the poor people who often lack political voice and proper health care
  • Got its name from Dr Carlos Ribeiro Justiniano Chagas, who diagnosed the first patient with the disease in Brazil on April 14, 1909
  • Classified as a neglected tropical disease (NTD)
  • Affects the low-income populations in developing countries across the globe
  • Also called the American trypanosomiasis, this vector-borne disease hits the most poverty-stricken communities, especially in Latin America
  • A parasitic protozoan called Trypanosoma cruzi that causes this vector-borne disease is usually transmitted by faeces and urine of triatomine bugs or kissing bugs, which belongs to the family of assassin bugs
  • Can also be transmitted by contaminated food, organ transplantations, blood or blood products transfusion, and infected mothers to newborn
  • Lack of awareness and neglecting the symptoms, especially among poor households, results in much severe symptoms and even death.
  • Symptoms include fever, muscle pain, headache, difficulty in breathing, abdominal or chest pain and enlarged lymph glands.