CUIDA Chagas and INI/Fiocruz
On this Wednesday (August 10th), the CUIDA Chagas project launches its digital platforms aiming at increasing the visibility of Chagas disease and promoting its activities. Besides the website (www.cuidachagas.org), CUIDA Chagas starts its way on social networks with a Facebook page and Instagram account. The project, coordinated by the Evandro Chagas National Infectiology Institute (INI/Fiocruz), has a partnership with the Instituto Nacional de Salud INS (Colombia), the Instituto Nacional de Laboratorios de Salud - Inlasa (Bolivia), the Servicio Nacional de Erradicación del Paludismo - Senepa (Paraguay) and the Global Alliance for Diagnostics - FIND, besides the funding of Unitaid and the Brazilian Ministry of Health.
CUIDA Chagas is an international initiative whose main objective is to contribute to the elimination of vertical transmission of the Chagas disease, which occurs during pregnancy or labor
The website’s content is in Portuguese, Spanish and English, highlighting the presence of educative content, scientific news, information material for healthcare workers and news about the advancements in the work in the field in over 30 municipalities in four countries where the CUIDA Chagas Project operates. This tool set aims at increasing engagement and sensibilization through a clear, modern, and intimate language.
The communication and engagement of communities are fundamental processes incorporated in the project to promote the right to health of people who suffer from the condition. “Part of the hardships of working with neglected diseases is that they are not known by most of the population. Even when the information is available, it is often inappropriate, making it necessary to break some paradigms, such as the inexistence of treatment or cure and the lack of knowledge of the multiple transmission forms. Working to control Chagas disease involves the challenge of stimulating the demand for services, introducing the Chagas theme in daily discussions and making it relevant to multiple audiences. It requires using multiple languages and spaces, including digital platforms”, states Andrea Silvestre, the project’s main researcher.
Among the specific goals of the digital channels, the break of stigmas and prejudices about Chagas disease stands out, which makes it difficult for people affected by the disease to have access to healthcare. “Chagas is not a disease from the past, that only affects elderly people or people who live in rural areas, as a lot of people think. It is a current problem that affects between 6 and 8 million people and is present in all age ranges and social classes, being also relevant in urban environments. Part of our job is getting more people to know this reality and to engage in individual and collective actions to control the disease”, highlights Javier Abi-Saab, communication and community engagement manager of CUIDA Chagas.
CUIDA Chagas is an international initiative that has the main goal of contributing to the elimination of the vertical transmission of the Chagas disease, which occurs during pregnancy or labor. To this end, there is innovation and implementation research being done to better the diagnosis, treatment and care of people affected by Chagas disease in over 30 municipalities in Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, and Paraguay.