Fighting against communicable and neglected diseases

Towards a comprehensive approach to the control of Chagas disease in indigenous communities of the Paraguayan Chaco

Location of Project Paraguay, Central Chaco region, countryside
Name of Association www.cedic.org.py CEDIC
Centro para el Desarrollo de la Investigación Científica
(Center for the Development of Scientific Investigation) (FMB/LabDiaz Gill)
  www.cedic.org.py
Project Partners
(financial and operational)
  • Fundación Moisés Bertoni (Moises Bertoni Foundation)
  • Médicos Sin Fronteras (Doctors Without Borders)
  • SENEPA (Vector Control National Service. Ministry of Health)

Program description

Gran Chaco is hyper endemic for Chagas disease and main current problem is elimination. Despite ongoing regional campaign to eliminate it, transmission via Triatoma infestans persists.

The project, born thanks to a strategic partnership between the Sanofi Espoir Foundation and the Sanofi Paraguayan affiliate focuses on 4 of the Paraguayan Chaco's indigenous communities, been re-infested by Chaga’s vectors after chemical spraying. Current system for monitoring the vector is incipient and there difficulties with language diversity spoken by ethnic groups plus extreme poverty.

The project establishes a reporting system in the communities through early detection of the presence of vectors with pre tested devices with semio chemicals that attract vectors found indoors. Early detection allows rapid elimination of threats to re-infestation.

It also builds body of knowledge aimed at developing multi sectorial strategies for sustainable control and surveillance based on principles of participatory environmental managing. These activities focus on housing arrangements and the improvement of walls and ceilings with the community. Model houses will have walls and ceilings that eliminate entry points for the vector and will use the roof for water collection.

The objective of the project is also to impact the morbidity of the disease by supporting the diagnosis and treatment of children under age 15 who become infected in the community. Emphasis will be placed on local schools for the promotion of healthy households and the support of students and teachers in the detection and reporting of the presence of the vectors in their homes for further elimination.