Document Type

Honors Project (Campus Only)


Chagas disease is a neglected tropical disease that is endemic to Latin America. This disease causes an estimated 14,000 deaths each year and 806, 170 disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), costing the world annually an estimated 7-19 billion U.S. dollars (Neglected Tropical Diseases Consortium of Modeling 2018). Chile is an example of a country that has substantially reduced Chagas disease incidence (from 16.7% in the rural population in 1980 to 1.5% in 2014) though prioritization at the ministerial level, well-organized educational campaigns and searches for the insect vector by the regional environmental health units. This analysis begins with an examination of the roots of the term “neglected tropical disease” (NTD) and historical publications on Chagas disease prioritization at the global public health level, before delving into the case study of Chile. Opportunistic qualitative interviews conducted in the Atacama and Arica-Parinacota regions of Chile, as well as a review of existing scholarly literature on Chagas disease, help support the conclusion that there are lessons to be learned from the structure of the Chilean Chagas disease elimination campaign that may be applicable for countries with higher rates of Chagas Disease. This analysis will bring attention to this important public health problem which can have lasting impacts on infected individuals and their families.



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