Mexico 2018: Project Chagas

ASE Foundation volunteers who participated in Mexico 2018: Project Chagas returned home last week following the completion of the global health initiative. Held in the city of Mérida, Yucatán, the event focused on pre-identified patients diagnosed with Chagas disease, to investigate the prevalence of Chagas cardiomyopathy, and to detect those individuals previously undiagnosed and connect them with local cardiologists that would provide proper cardiac care within the regional public system.

Chagas disease (CD) is caused by a parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi, that is transmitted through the “kissing bug.” Over the last 10 years, the Mexican Government implemented significant initiatives to extinguish the bug and developed campaigns to detect the blood infection of this disease that is mostly prevalent in rural areas. This situation created a unique opportunity for the ASE Foundation and its partners to build on the previous government initiatives and screen for Chagas heart disease, which occurs in roughly 30% of those infected.

In addition to the ASE Foundation, partners for this event included General Hospital Agustin O’Horan in Mérida, Philips Mexico Commercial S.A. de C.V., Yucatán Health Services, the Mexican National Center for the Prevention and Control of Diseases (CENAPRECE), and the Mexican National Association of Cardiology (ANCAM).  All collaborating organizations had representatives on-site, working side-by-side for three days. Team leaders were Dr. Federico Asch (ASEF), Dr. Pedro Gutiérrez-Fajardo (ANCAM), and Dra. Hilda Peralta (General Hospital Agustin O’Horan). Read about the project and all the volunteers online at ASEFoundation.org/Mexico-2018. You can learn more about imaging patients with Chagas disease in this ASE Guideline (also available in Spanish and Chinese).

The ASE Foundation’s 2018 global health outreach events are supported by donor contributions to the Annual Appeal. Giving to the Foundation to help foster a project like this one can make a world of difference!