PAHO declares Paraguay, Chile for the hamper of Chagas spread

Asuncion – The Pan American Health Organization certified with the work of Paraguay and Chile in the management to impede the domestic dispersal of Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite that transmits Chagas disease, during a ceremony Wednesday in Asuncion attended by health authorities from several Latin-American countries.

The representative of the PAHO in Paraguay, Carlos Castillo, said in the event that the certification of Paraguay, and Chile is authorized after “a careful technical analysis carried out by well-known experts visiting those countries.”

“They analyzed the information and documentation, and verified on the ground that the interruption (in the spread of Chagas disease) has taken place,” Castillo said.

He added that this is a performance of Paraguayan and Chilean public health authorities, and congratulated the officials of both countries for their work in recent years to the control of Chagas disease.

In the case of Paraguay, the public Health Minister Antonio Barrios accepted the plaque stating that the northern provinces of Alto Paraguay and Boqueron, in the Chaco region, have stopped the transmission of the disease.

“We had 80 per cent in the west of the country, in the Chaco region, and we had 40 percent in the eastern region. That reduced the values to zero-point-zero and therefore (we had) this certification and this trend … in Paraguay in the reduction of the … Chagas,” Barrios told EFE.

Chile representative to be present at the ceremony, Alfonso Parra, received a new certification, accreditation of the Andean country for its 19 years without any reported domestic transmission of Chagas disease.

The awards were presented in the framework of the 22nd Meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission of the Southern Cone for the prevention of and attention to the illness of Chagas, known as Incosur/Chagas, which is under way in Asuncion to Thursday and is attended by officials from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Uruguay and Peru.

Chagas is a disease transmitted by a parasite that can infect people through the bite of the so-called “kissing bug,” which consists of Latin America and nourishes the blood, but it can also be transmitted by blood transfusions, congenital or oral.

In Paraguay, where 165,000 people suffer from the disease, in the Chaco province of Presidente Hayes is the only one where Chagas disease transmission is not stopped completely by vectors, such as kissing bugs.

Between six and seven million people around the world suffer from Chagas disease, which is endemic in 21 countries in Latin America and causes serious cardiac and digestive problems, but can be cured if it is detected and treated in time, according to the World Health Organization. EFE

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