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 29 Feb 2020
In 2015, DNDi launched an initiative to increase access to diagnosis and treatment to Chagas disease in close collaboration with local, regional, and national partners through pilot projects in several endemic countries.
In August 2017, DNDi‘s efforts received a considerable boost when pharmaceutical company Insud, with DNDi’s support, received a priority review voucher as a result of registering benznidazole for the treatment of Chagas disease with the US FDA.
The approach was first implemented in Colombia in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, targeting a highly endemic area for Chagas disease. The new patient-centred approach involves training health care staff, simplifying, and accelerating the procedure for diagnosis, and decentralizing treatment to ensure it is available closer to where patients live. In the two communities where the pilot was first implemented, 384 people were tested for Chagas disease in the first year, a ten-fold increase over the previous year. Wait times for diagnostic confirmation were reduced from an average of 364 to just 17 days, and there was a four-fold increase in the number of patients starting etiological treatment. In 2018, the Colombian project expanded to additional communities.
The positive experience and promising results of the Colombia project led to the development of a collaborative project in the U.S. focused on advancing public health research on Chagas disease, including the first large-scale prevalence study in a major U.S. city in 2017.
Projects were also launched along the same model in Guatemala with local and international partners, and in Brazil in partnership with the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation. Seminars were held in Jutiapa, Guatemala, and in Rio de Janeiro and Recife, Brazil to identify the main barriers and develop actions to strengthen disease control and treatment access.
The Science Explained
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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