IN SITU SCREENING FOR CHAGAS DISEASE
In 2008 we began attending the Bolivian Homeland Festival in Badalona, Catalonia, Spain. The first few times we offered information about Chagas disease and, for those who wanted to be tested, we made appointments for a later date at the healthcare facilities of the Drassanes-Vall d’Hebron Tropical Medicine and International Health Unit, Catalan Institute of Health (USIDVH).
In 2014, after several years and after witnessing the positive reception of our work by the Bolivian community, we began to perform in situ screenings in Barcelona. We normally do this work in the context of the Bolivian Homeland Festival but in recent years we have also worked in other contexts, such as concerts with Bolivian bands like Los Kjarkas (2017).
During an intervention focused on community epidemiology by the Center of Community Epidemiology and Tropical Medicine (CECOMET) and the San Lorenzo Health District, done in six Awá indigenous communities in the north of the Esmeraldas province, Ecuador, several triatomines were discovered. This brought about a participative investigation that involved health promoters, community leaders, and administration from the Awá Indigenous Federation (FCAE).
Through the investigation they confirmed the species, evaluated the risk of transmission of Chagas disease, identified infected people, and eventually established a treatment and control program.