Demonstrate the feasibility of scaling up access to diagnosis and treatment in pilot projects that can then be replicated on a larger scale
current phase of drug development
updated 1 Jun 2021
In 2015, DNDi launched the Chagas Treatment Access Project to increase access to diagnosis and treatment for Chagas disease. Working in collaboration with local, regional, and national partners in several endemic countries, DNDi has launched a series of projects to pilot new models of patient-centred care.
The new patient-centred approach was first implemented in Colombia in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, the Colombian National Health Institute, and other partners working together to support the implementation of a comprehensive roadmap for Chagas care. In four Colombian departments where Chagas disease is highly endemic, the projects have increased access to testing and treatment by training healthcare staff on the most up-to-date treatment guidelines; simplifying and accelerating the procedure for diagnosis; and decentralizing treatment so that it would be available closer to where patients live.
The collaborative work carried out by the Ministry of Health, local health systems, and DNDi in the project areas produced robust results. When comparing access to care for Chagas disease before and after implementation of the pilot projects, several improvements were made:
- The average number of people tested annually increased nearly five-fold, from 426 before the project to 2427 after its implementation
- The average number of cases of Chagas disease detected per year increased from 37 to 262, meaning more people could receive timely care
- Average wait times for confirmation of diagnosis decreased by over 90%, from 258 to 19 days
- Average wait times between confirmed diagnosis and start of treatment decreased by over 60%, from 354 days to 135
In the United States, DNDi has also collaborated with the Center of Excellence for Chagas Disease at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles on work to identify the main barriers to treatment access and promote of testing and treatment. Through the project, the first large-scale prevalence study on Chagas disease in a major US city was published, describing findings from the Center’s community screening programme in Los Angeles. The project also conducted research with patients in Los Angeles to understand the main barriers to accessing treatment and care.
- On-site experience of a project to increase access to diagnosis and treatment of Chagas disease in high-risk endemic areas of Colombia. Acta Tropica, October 2021.
Chagas Access: The pilot experience in Colombia
Improving access to testing for Chagas disease in Colombia
- 20 June 2019 – Chagas Access Programme achieves an increase of 1300% in the number of people screened
- September 2018 – DNDi and Fiocruz launch project to expand access to diagnosis and treatment for Chagas disease in Brazil
- 14 April 2018 – DNDi agreement with Colombia Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to guarantee access to comprehensive care for Chagas patients
Ending the neglect of Chagas in Colombia
Bringing Chagas disease care to a remote Colombian region
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