The BeatChagas platform is a tool of the WHO Technical Group 6 on information, education and communication to control Chagas disease (TG6 IEC Chagas disease) to share information and different instruments and strategies to approach and work with the problem of Chagas disease in different contexts.
The platform contains news and Information, Education and Communication materials whose characteristics meet criteria for the support of the achievement of the objectives and the execution of the activities of WHO surveillance, prevention and control of Chagas disease in the world.
The TG6 IEC Chagas disease was created in 2017, composed by a diversity of professionals from different countries and disciplines and sectors related to the psychological, social and anthropologic fields.
Launched in 2014, the initial version of the BeatChagas platform was the result of a collaborative work among different institutions: the Leo Messi Foundation; the FC Barcelona Foundation; the International Health Programme of the Catalonian Institute of Health (PROSICS); Vall d'Hebron University Hospital (VHIR); the "What do we talk about when we talk about Chagas?" group, formed in Argentina by the Argentine National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), the National University of La Plata (UNLP) and the Centres for Educational Research and Innovation (CIIE); and the International Federation of Associations of People Affected by Chagas Disease (FINDECHAGAS).
The informative, educational and communication materials already selected include texts, songs, comics and videos created and distributed with WHO's support in order to share them with the public health, health system and scientific communities.
Chagas is a complex socio-economic, environmental health problem and the lack of understanding Chagas as a multidimensional challenge led to fragmented approaches and contributed to its neglected condition. Its different dimensions linked in a gearing mechanism justify the necessity of multidimensional approaches; most likely the only way to consider and deal
The objective of BeatChagas is to raise awareness among individuals, institutions and governments on the complexity of the Chagas problem. To achieve this, the initiative presents and discusses various aspects of Chagas disease through a variety of strategies and tools that focus on the individuals affected by it.
The priority of the TG6 IEC Chagas disease team is to raise global awareness on the urgency and magnitude of the Chagas problem, emphasizing the need for early testing and, when test results are positive, the necessity to have access to comprehensive medical, pharmacological and psychosocial treatment. It is important to highlight that only three out of ten people who test positive actually develop the disease.
The disease is typically asymptomatic at the beginning, but without antiparasitic treatment in the acute phase, early chronic phase or adequate follow-up, infected individuals can develop clinical signs and symptoms of the disease, with the possibility to lead to irreversible harm and even death. It is estimated that currently less than 10% of individuals infected are aware of their situation.
Beatchagas aims to break the silence surrounding this disease, help to face and overcome fear and remove all kinds of barriers. BeatChagas also aims to contributte with the visualization and raise population awareness about the realities faced by individuals affected by Chagas disease (carriers, patients, relatives, friends and others), highlighting current obstacles to diagnosis and comprehensive treatment of the disease and sharing successful experiences to overcome the stigma and discrimination these individuals often face.
Technical Group 6 (WG6-IEC) is convened by the Chagas Disease Control Program, Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases, WHO, to make technical contributions in the area of Information, Education and Communication (IEC) regarding the problem of Chagas. It is integrated by a group of people, professionals from different disciplines and geographical origins, with wide and varied experience in the subject.
HOW CAN I SHARE MY IEC TOOLS
WITH BEATCHAGAS PLATFORM?
If you have one or more IEC tools, didactic resources or you have developed IEC strategies, you can share them with the TG6 IEC Chagas disease. The members of the Group assess and select the tools, resources and strategies based on pre-established criteria in order to include them in the BeatChagas platform and share them with the public health, health system and scientific communities and people interested worldwide, recognizing and acknowledging the authors and their institutions with their copy rights.