World Chagas Disease Day: raising awareness of neglected tropical diseases

24 May 2019 | Geneva −− The 72nd World Health Assembly today approved the designation of a World Chagas Disease Day which aims, among others, to raise public awareness of this neglected tropical disease (NTD) that affects mainly poor people.


“An annual day celebrated at global level is bound to attract international attention,” said Dr Pedro Albajar Viñas, WHO Medical Officer (Chagas disease). “»These days can help to provide visibility and commit countries to enhance control interventions for a disease that has remained largely neglected, but still present in many countries.”

Chagas disease, also called American trypanosomiasis, has also been termed as a “silent and silenced disease”, not only because of its slowly progressing clinical course but also because it affects mainly poor people who have no political voice or access to health care.

World Chagas Disease Day will be observed on 14 April, each year. It was on this date in 1909 that the first patient, a Brazilian girl named Berenice Soares de Moura, was diagnosed for this disease by Dr Carlos Ribeiro Justiniano Chagas.



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