Chagas is a neglected disease that affects between eight and ten million people, mainly in Latin America. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) works in Paraguay's rural Chaco region, going into isolated communities to educate people about the disease and screen them for it. Internationally, MSF fights to improve access to diagnosis and treatment for the disease and advocates for more research and development into its treatment.
Pediatrician Leo Ho worked in the intensive care unit of the MSF-run Gondama Hospital in the Bo region of Sierra Leone in 2007. During his assignment, Dr. Ho was continually treating the most severe malaria cases: children brought to the hospital who had already fallen into a coma; those who were severely malnourished; or also suffering from tuberculosis or HIV/AIDS. “We were just trying to keep them alive,” says Dr. Ho.