Chagas disease is one of the world's 17 neglected tropical diseases. The lack of resources allocated to both medical care and research in this field and the fact that the disease can lie dormant for decades explain why Chagas disease is a largely unknown and silent killer. Affecting approximately 10 million people worldwide and causing over 10,000 deaths each year, Chagas disease is a serious public health burden, both in Latin America, where the disease is endemic, and in countries that receive immigrants from Latin American countries.
In a bid to put an end to this silent killer, a number of leading international health institutions have joined forces to create the Global Chagas Disease Coalition, whose aim is to boost access to diagnosis, treatment and care among Chagas patients and to stimulate innovation in new tools to fight the disease. The initiative is led by the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) in collaboration with the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), Instituto Carlos Slim de la Salud, the Sabin Vaccine Institute, and Fundación Mundo Sano.
Through research, development and the delivery of new health technologies, the Coalition aims to help the World Health Organization to meet its goal of controlling or eliminating Chagas disease by 2020.
The Global Chagas Disease Coalition Declaration
The Global Chagas Disease Coalition was officially launched at the international medical conference Lives in the Balance, held in New York on December 13-14, 2012. The conference brought together top experts in global health from around the world to analyse the progress made so far and the challenges that lie ahead in terms of delivering medical innovations in the fight against neglected diseases.
Read the official declaration here.