2020 saw the start of our activities in Paraguay, with the launch of the “Platform for the Comprehensive Care of Patients with Chagas Disease” in collaboration with Paraguay’s Ministry of Health, the National Chagas Programme and CEDIC. Activities will take place in the Chaco, an area with high incidence of the disease. The platform, funded by Spanish cooperation (AECID), builds on our successful experience in Bolivia and will offer a model adapted to the country’s health policies and strategies, including health care for patients and training for healthcare workers and researchers.
Regarding congenital Chagas, we developed and validated an early diagnostic test which can be used at point of care and takes less than three hours to yield a result. This highly sensitive test holds great promise for the detection of T. cruzi infections in neonates – a crucial issue since prompt treatment achieves a high cure rate (1).
Together with the NHEPACHA network, we presented a new and complete target product profile (TPP) to guide the development and uptake of tests that allow to assess whether a patient is responding to treatment. Given the recent advances in rapid diagnosis and shorter treatment regimens, we hope that more and more Chagas patients will be treated in the near future. This kind of test will therefore be of great importance to managing those patients, as well as to accelerating the evaluation of new drugs or regimens (2).