- About Us
- Our Work
- Work With MSF
- Public Events
- Press Room
MSF in Bolivia, 2006/2007
Field Staff: 76
Reason for Intervention:
All articles on Bolivia »
Little-known outside of the Americas, Chagas is a parasitic infection that currently affects approximately eight million people in Latin America, and the prevalence of the disease has been higher in Bolivia than any other country.
Transmitted by blood-sucking insects that are commonly found in impoverished areas and rural dwellings, Chagas can kill people by debilitating the heart and/or intestinal system. There are only two, older-class drugs available to treat Chagas that risk many side effects, and monitoring and follow-up of patients is essential. To date, treatment for adults has not been curative and children have been the main target for medical interventions.
MSF has undertaken numerous projects to address prevention and treatment of Chagas in Bolivia, and currently tests and treats youth under age 18 in the city of Sucre, Chuquisaca department. As the Chagas National Program started diagnosing and treating patients under 15 in various municipalities in the country in 2006, MSF has been decreasing the volume of its activities. At the end of the year, MSF closed a project focusing on children under 15 in Tarija, O’Connor province. Over five years, the project focused on raising awareness and screening in a very complex rural setting, covering up to 95 percent of the targeted population and treating 1,400 children. In the second half of 2007, MSF will be implementing a new project treating adults in the urban area Cochabamba.
MSF also works with national and international organizations to raise awareness of Chagas and pushes for more research and development into effective diagnostics and drugs. MSF has been a partner of the Pan American Health Organization and participates in the newly formed Global Network for Chagas Elimination, launched at the World Health Organization in July 2007.
MSF has worked in Bolivia since 1986.