Published on: April 16, 2022
WORLD CHAGAS DISEASE DAY
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.