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World Chagas Disease Day 2024, Theme, History and Significance

World Chagas Disease Day is observed on April 14 to raise awareness around Chagas disease by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Chagas disease, caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi and transmitted primarily by triatomine bugs, is often referred to as a “silent” or “silenced” disease due to its insidious nature, with the majority of infected individuals displaying no or very mild symptoms during the initial stages of infection. Know all about World Chagas Disease Day 2024 in this article.

World Chagas Disease Day 2024 Theme

The theme for World Chagas Disease Day 2024 is “Tackling Chagas disease: detect early and care for life.” This theme underscores the importance of early detection and comprehensive care initiatives in combating Chagas disease effectively. By promoting early detection measures and ensuring lifelong care for individuals affected by Chagas disease, this theme aims to raise awareness, secure greater funding, and enhance support for addressing this neglected tropical disease.

What is Chagas Disease?

  • About 6–7 million people worldwide, mostly in Latin America, are estimated to be infected with Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite that causes Chagas disease.
  • It can be transmitted by the triatomine bug (vector-borne), as well as orally (food-borne), during pregnancy or birth (congenital), through blood/blood products, organ transplantation and laboratory accidents.
  • Chagas disease is curable if antiparasitic treatment is initiated early, in the acute phase. In chronic infection, the treatment and follow up can potentially prevent or curb disease progression and prevent transmission, for instance, during pregnancy and birth.
  • Up to a third of people with chronic infection develop cardiac alterations and 1 in 10 develop digestive, neurological or mixed alterations which may require specific treatment.
  • Key strategies to prevent Chagas disease include vector control (in Latin America); blood screening prior transfusion and transplantation; testing and treating girls, women of reproductive age, newborns and siblings of mothers with infection; and information, education and communication for communities and health professionals.

History of World Chagas Disease Day

Year Event
1909 Dr. Carlos Ribeiro Justiniano Chagas diagnoses the first case of Chagas disease on April 14.
2019 The proposal for World Chagas Disease Day is approved at the 72nd session of the World Health Assembly on May 24 and officially created on May 28.
2020 World Chagas Disease Day is first celebrated on April 14, marking the anniversary of the first diagnosis.
2021 Global observance of World Chagas Disease Day continues, raising awareness about the disease worldwide.
2022 Efforts to combat Chagas disease are reinforced, emphasizing early detection and comprehensive care.
2023 Advocacy for Chagas disease prevention and treatment intensifies, supported by international organizations and institutions.
2024 World Chagas Disease Day focuses on the theme “Tackling Chagas disease: detect early and care for life,” aiming to increase awareness and support for early diagnosis and lifelong care initiatives.

Significance of World Chagas Disease Day 2024 

The significance of World Chagas Disease Day 2024 lies in its role as a global platform to raise awareness, mobilize resources, and advocate for action to address the ongoing challenges posed by Chagas disease. Here are some key points highlighting its significance:

  • Awareness: World Chagas Disease Day raises global awareness about the disease’s prevalence, transmission, and consequences.
  • Advocacy: It advocates for increased funding, research, and policy support to combat Chagas disease.
  • Prevention and Control: Emphasizes early detection and comprehensive care to prevent new infections and mitigate the disease’s impact.
  • Global Collaboration: Fosters collaboration among stakeholders to develop effective strategies and interventions.
  • Health Equity: Advocates for equitable access to healthcare services for all affected individuals.

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World Chagas Disease Day 2024 FAQs

What is the 14th of April World Chagas disease?

World Chagas Disease Day is a global healthcare event observed on the 14th of April every year, intending the recognition of the neglected Chagas disease.

Which country has Chagas disease?

Chagas disease is the most prevalent communicable tropical disease in Latin America.

Why is it called Chagas disease?

Chagas disease is named after the Brazilian physician Carlos Chagas, who discovered the disease in 1909.

How many countries have Chagas disease?

Chagas disease is found mainly in endemic areas of 21 continental Latin American countries, where it is mostly transmitted when humans come into contact with faeces and/or urine of infected blood-sucking triatomine bugs (vector-borne transmission).

About the Author

Greetings! I'm Piyush, a content writer at StudyIQ. I specialize in creating enlightening content focused on UPSC and State PSC exams. Let's embark on a journey of discovery, where we unravel the intricacies of these exams and transform aspirations into triumphant achievements together!

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