This information is excerpted from MSF’s 2016 International Activity Report
In 2016, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) started to wind down its activities in the municipality of Monteagudo and presented Bolivia’s Ministry of Health with a comprehensive care manual for managing Chagas disease in rural areas.
Bolivia remains the country with the highest incidence of Chagas worldwide. It is endemic in 60 percent of the country and around 4,440,000 people are at risk of infection.
MSF is based in the town of Monteagudo in the Chuquisaca Department, where the team had collaborated with the Ministry of Health to implement an integrated strategy for the treatment and prevention of Chagas in public health services.
Throughout the year, teams carried out community training and awareness-raising activities on the integral management of the disease for health workers in urban and rural communities. The medical workforces of 17 health centers in the area were trained. This intervention enabled 1,094 cases to be detected; of these, 445 patients concluded the treatment.
In 2016, MSF launched a mobile app called eMOCHA in three municipalities within Narciso Campero Province. This app enables people to report the location of vinchuca, the “kissing bugs” that transmit Chagas disease, by sending an SMS and facilitating the quick and efficient removal of the insects.
The operating manual MSF developed is intended to be a toolkit to guide the Ministry of Health, municipal authorities, and the National Chagas Program in the fight against the disease, and is based on MSF’s experience implementing a comprehensive care model in Monteagudo. The manual can be used as a reference in other endemic regions of the country.