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World Chagas Disease Day 2024, Date, Theme, History and Significance

The World Health Organization (WHO) observes World Chagas Disease Day every April 14th to raise awareness about the neglected tropical disease that affects millions of people, especially in Latin America. The 72nd World Health Assembly dedicated this day to the disease in 2019.

World Chagas Disease Day 2024-Theme

In 2024, the theme for World Chagas Disease Day is “Tackling Chagas disease: detect early and care for life”. This theme aims to increase public awareness of Chagas disease and secure greater funding and support for early diagnosis and life-long, comprehensive follow-up care initiatives.

World Chagas Disease Day 2024-Significance

Chagas disease, also known as the “silent or silenced disease,” is a communicable parasitic disease that infects 6-7 million people and claims around 12,000 lives every year worldwide, according to the WHO. The disease is caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, transmitted by a family of bugs called ‘triatomines’ or ‘kissing bugs’.

The disease is prevalent among poor populations of continental Latin America, but it is increasingly being detected in other countries and continents. The majority of infected individuals have no symptoms or extremely mild symptoms, making early detection challenging. Only 20-30% of infections evolve into the chronic stage, causing damage to the heart, digestive system, or nervous system.

The observance of World Chagas Disease Day is crucial to raise awareness about this neglected disease, advocate for equitable access to health care and services for those affected, and promote preventive measures to eliminate the disease.

Important Takeaways for all competitive exams

  • WHO Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland
  • WHO Founded: 7 April 1948

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