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Chagas Diagnosis and Treatment a Reality in Mexico's Oaxaca State

Medecins Sans Frontieres
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October 3, 2014

Diagnosis and Treatment of Chagas DIsease in Mexico (Doctors Without Borders / MSF-USA)

The 43,000 inhabitants in San Pedro Pochutla and Mazunte, Oaxaca State, Mexico, have access to diagnosis and treatment for Chagas disease in primary healthcare facilities. The Oaxaca Health Secretariat has initiated Chagas diagnosis and treatment activities in collaboration with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) for the disease.

After the arrival of rapid diagnosis tests and the first batch of medicines to treat the disease, Health Secretariat staff are already diagnosing, and the first patients identified have started the corresponding treatment. So far, 1,512 serological tests to diagnose the disease have been performed.

The first Chagas-positive patient was able to start treatment by late August. Ubaldo Mendoza, 18, is from Puerto Ángel, Oaxaca. “The doctor will be checking me on a weekly basis in order to follow up the treatment process,” he explains. “For the time being, I feel good, I have nothing.” Ubaldo is not scared because he knows that there is a cure and, by receiving the 60-day treatment he requires, his health will improve and he will be able to continue with his studies.

“The collaboration between MSF and the state and federal health authorities should help to overcome the current barriers that still exist in accessing Chagas treatment,” says Marc Bosch, MSF head of mission in Mexico. “This will enable to replicate similar initiatives in other areas in the country where Chagas is also endemic. So, in the future, the more than 1.1 million people estimated to be infected in Mexico could be properly diagnosed and treated.”

Read the full story at Médecins Sans Frontières

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