The Minister of Health of the Nation, Carla Vizzotti, today led the opening ceremony of the Ibero-American initiative on Congenital Chagas “No child with Chagas, the journey to new generations free from Chagas” within the framework of the 3rd Meeting of the Intergovernmental Council (CIG) held in Buenos Aires on the 6th and 7th cal.
Tested at the Ibero-American Summit in Andorra, in 2021, this initiative seeks to contribute to the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of Chagas disease from a multidimensional approach, with the aim of control and prevention strategies in other forms of disease transmission.
“This journey has been completed, because today we are in the third meeting on the congenital Chagas disease, with the commitment of so many countries in the region and Spain, as well as the civil society associations of PAHO, WHO, the Ibero-American Secretariat. It is an example of the synergy that can be generated with initiatives, challenges and concrete actions”, said Vizzotti.
As for health, referring to one of the axes in the administration of the government, the minister recalled that in April last year Law 26,281 on the prevention and control of all transmission diseases Chagas was regulated “which 17 years ago without regulation”, he affirmed and affirmed. “forming this group of work” is essential to be able to make visible the vertical transmission of Chagas.
Similarly, the minister stated that “it is necessary that people know that they have a diagnosis, treatment and the presence of the state”, and highlighted the essential communication so that the people “know their rights and can exercise their power”. rights are not exercised without knowledge.
Countries participating in the initiative are Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Paraguay and Spain. The congress also includes representatives of the World Health Organization (WHO), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), ISGlobal, the Chagas Coalition, DNDi, and the Foundation for a Healthy World, which carries out the technical unit of the initiative through the intergovernmental decision of the Council.
The Undersecretary for Health Strategies, Juan Manuel Castelli, thanked the participating countries for their work in the opening and pointed out that “Chagas disease is an important health axis for Argentina”. In this sense, he affirmed that “it is very important for us to gather today in this work of the plan of action and concrete actions to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of this disease”.
On the other hand, the technical secretary of the initiative and executive of the Mundo Sano foundation, Marcelo Abril said “today we will be able to consolidate what was undertaken in the technical year in Bogotá”. And he affirmed: “These common goals will lead us in the years to come so that the ultimate goal of no one’s child with the Chagas project will be accomplished.”
Again, the head of the Department of Control Neglected Tropical Diseases QUI Pedro Albajar Viñas indicated that “the great challenge of the plan is to help visualize and implement methods of early detection, as well as the monitoring of those infected. . And he said: “Thanks to the implementation of the program we will have the ability to break the epidemiological silence that it is a great challenge, since many infected people are asymptomatic”.
For his part, the representative of the Pan American Health (PAHO) in Argentina, Eva Jané Llopis highlighted that “the endemic area of chagas covers 21 countries and this initiative contributes to other regional plans to strengthen the supranational way of responding.”. He stated that “the PAHO will work in the preparation, design and definition of policies that can work in each region, but above all, in helping to implement the plan and to implement it to reach the field.”
Initiated in May 2021 and coming to an end in December 2025, the specific objectives of the initiative strengthen the health system and services at all levels (national, subnational) in prevention, access to timely diagnosis, treatment and to achieve everything. who are exposed to Chagas disease with emphasis on women of childbearing age, pregnant women (diagnosis and postpartum treatment) and newborns (NBs).
It is also proposed to expand access to the diagnosis and treatment of Chagas disease, taking into account the marriage of the mother, as well as people with asymptomatic chronic forms; strengthen epidemiological and entomological surveillance mechanisms for the prevention of chagas disease.
Its main lines of action are standards review and adaptation; development and implementation of courses for health personnel; workshop staff training; the implementation of a platform that allows for the recognition of good practices and experiences in the field of prevention, diagnosis and treatment; the preparation of registrations and the establishment of treatment points for medical consultations at the first level of care; effective tools to carry out early diagnosis; the implementation of actions that favor the reduction of stigma and discrimination; and the use of innovative systems for the improvement and integration of data collection, analysis and utilization systems.
It should be noted that now in Argentina municipalities are evaluated to carry out interventions, using the selection criteria of those jurisdictions with advanced vector elimination work, a high prevalence of Chagas disease in pregnant women and with a high number of deliveries.