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  • Endemic/epidemic disease

Bolivia: Latest MSF Updates


Our Work

This is an extract from MSF's 2015 International Report:

From this year, an integrated strategy with the Ministry of Health for the treatment of Chagas has been applied in Bolivia.

Teams have also been working to facilitate access to treatment for patients with secondary complications of the disease by training medical staff in early detection.

Chuquisaca is one of the departments with the highest prevalence of Chagas in the country, currently 70 per cent. In 2015, MSF initiated the second phase of a rural project in Monteagudo municipality, which involves recruiting and training health staff who work in the 17 health facilities in the area. The project offers free diagnosis and treatment, and so far 3,286 people have been screened (1,186 were confirmed as having Chagas and 224 started treatment).

MSF has been working with the national programme to strengthen community surveillance by training local volunteers and has also assisted in the spraying of houses. The vinchuca bug (Triatoma infestans) that transmits Chagas lives in the cracks in the walls and roofs of rural adobe houses.


This year MSF tested EMOCHA, an e-mobile surveillance application. Upon detection of a vinchuca infestation, a community volunteer sends a free SMS to a central information system, and a vector control team is deployed. EMOCHA will be implemented at the beginning of 2016 in Aiquile, Omereque and Pasorapa, in Narciso Campero province.

At the end of 2015, MSF had 10 staff in Bolivia and Paraguay (Bolivia and Paraguay come under a joint MSF program). MSF has been working in Bolivia since 1986.

Patient Story

Angel, 55 years old, lives in Chujllas, a small community in a rural part of Cochabamba department.

"I wasn’t feeling well. I had some palpitations when I was sleeping. I went to the hospital in the town of Aiquile for a diagnosis. The results were that I had Chagas. But it was impossible for me to keep going to Aiquile for treatment. Six months went by and a friend told me that MSF was coming to Chujllas. ‘This is very important,’ I said, ‘we mustn’t miss this opportunity.’

The whole community met with the doctors. By that time I didn’t feel like working or even eating. I started treatment. I recovered. I hope others follow the treatment, as I am feeling very well now."

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