Chagas Disease is a neglected tropical disease that silently kills thousands each year. In total there are about 6-7 million people living with the parasite. The disease can lead to enlarged ventricles in the heart, eventually resulting in heart failure.
¡Pasa la Voz! aims to break the cycle of negligence caused by the fact that Chagas Disease can lie dormant for decades. The objective is to promote access to diagnosis and treatment for patients with Chagas disease and to stimulate innovation and encourage global efforts to develop new tools to fight the disease.
This project incorporates key stakeholders from the beginning up to the evaluation stage, ensuring their participation in working groups and encouraging them to make an active contribution with the aim of improving access to diagnosis and treatment.
This project incorporates key stakeholders from the beginning until the evaluation stage, ensuring their participation in working groups and encouraging them to make an active contribution. Key stakeholders in the pilot project are migrant populations, patients and patient associations, as well as health professionals. Women are involved as change agents in spreading the word about CD. Through training and distribution of IEC kits, women will lead IEC practices across their communities.
A participatory approach helps to thoroughly investigate social and economic determinants
which prevent access to health services. The research follows a detailed approach on how to
target audiences, identify groups and communities to communicate with and make detailed lists of who is informed, interviewed and diagnosed and followed up. To motivate people to take part in the diagnosis, social networks are engaged to help to support them through the process.
Women are important in supporting and accommodating the process. The researchers take part in social events at churches, Bolivian community and sporting events to communicate about CD and the options for diagnosis and treatment. Another key element of engagement and non-formal science education will be the activities with and for patient´s associations, aiming to empower and accompany them in advocacy and communication activities.
A political willingness to address the disease is crucial. It helps to involve patients more so that
they can be diagnosed and treated. Collaboration therefore takes place with stakeholders such as key decision-makers, the scientific community, key actors working on CD and the general public who will be target audiences and/or will disseminate awareness activities. By integrating
different stakeholders the team addresses the gender balance, responsibility, ownership and
recognition and brings about the added value for the community.