Doing the research is knowledge about what is important to know before Fund-raising and speaking for Awareness.
Be the expert!
HOW IS IT CAUSED? Chagas disease is caused by a parasite within an insect. The insects or beetles called “kissing bugs,” live in the cracks and walls of mud and straw houses. Mud and straw houses are common in poorer areas in the cities and in rural communities in many South American countries. The bug carrying the parasite lives in the cracks of these structures. At night, the bugs bite and also leave their excrement near the bite site. That is how the parasite is released that can get into peoples’ bodies and infect them. WHO GETS IT? It is estimated that 11 million people have Chagas. and about 50,000 people each year will die from Chagas. Most of these people live in Central and South America. Surprisingly, nine cases of Chagas were reported in the southern United States last year, causing the Center for Disease Control to have one of its departments focus on it. It is hard to diagnose Chagas disease. It may first feel like the flu. But, then there are no symptoms until years after the disease has progressed and caused serious health problems. The disease can progress for ten to twenty years! A third of the people who have Chagas will develop permanent damage to their heart, esophagus and intestines. HOW CAN IT BE TREATED? Treating homes with insecticides to kill the insects that carry the disease, can help eliminate new infections. This is difficult to do, since the pesticide has to be used all the time. Pesticides can also be harmful when used all the time. Scientists are trying to come up with a special paint that may prevent the beetles from penetrating the mud and straw houses. The medications used for parasites are very powerful, and expensive. The drugs available now cannot help when the disease is in a chronic or late stage. People who are helped once, can become reinfected again. The pacemaker, an electrical medical device that regulates heart beats, can help a sick person survive. If a pacemaker is inserted into a person’s chest who has late stage Chagas heart disease, that person can continue living. Pacemakers are very expensive to insert. They also require maintenance. KFWH HELPS KFWH has been dedicated to helping people in Bolivia who have Chagas disease. KFWH has paid for people who have end -stage Chagas disease to have leads and wires put in that attach to a pacemaker. People can stay alive and lead a regular life again. They can watch their children and grandchildren grow up and be a part of their family for years to come. KFWH has created educational videos for people to learn about Chagas and to show them how they can prevent Chagas. The video also explains how they can be helped if they need a pacemaker. KFWH also educates people in the United States about Chagas disease. KFWH encourages scientists and drug companies to continue to look for tests to diagnose Chagas and ways to cure it. KFWH works in cooperation with universities and doctors who also help people with...read more
Summarized from www.thelancet.com Vol. 381 Jan. 5, 2013/ John Morris reports/WHO Meeting led by Dr. Anne Moore, KFWH Advisor New WHO Plan Targets the Demise of Sleeping Sickness Tropical diseases can make people very sick and sometimes kill the people who become infected. At the World Health Organization (WHO) at the United Nations, doctors and scientists are working hard to do something about this. They are figuring out how to end tropical diseases to save lives. One of the diseases they studied at their meeting in December 2012, is “sleeping sickness.” Most people who get sleeping sickness live in west and central Africa, in countries such as The Democratic Republic of The Congo. African animals can also become infected. Sleeping sickness can damage the nervous system and harm people’s hearts. How does someone get this disease? Sleeping sickness comes from a tse tse fly bite. The tse tse fly has a parasite -an organism that lives inside the fly- that is dangerous to humans. When someone is bitten, the parasite from the fly goes into that person’s bloodstream and makes them very ill. If a tse tse fly bites a person who has been treated with medication, that fly cannot infect the next person it bites. Then eventually, sleeping sickness cannot be transmitted. Anne Moore, the leader of the WHO meeting says, “The plan to eliminate ( to stop transmitting) sleeping sickness is looking very good.” After more than a hundred years, the effort to eliminate sleeping sickness is happening. Here are some reasons that millions of people will now be living after being bitten by a tse tse fly: People around the world have asked drug companies to make medicines to stop sleeping sickness. Caring people donated money so poor people can pay for medicine that cures sleeping sickness. Hospitals were built in rural areas so people could get treatment for sleeping sickness and recover with help from doctors and nurses. Health workers go into remote areas, into small hidden villages, to find people who are sick and get them help. They can do this because there are less wars and soldiers to stop them The workers from WHO have this plan to continue to eliminate sleeping sickness: Every person in the village will have their blood tested to see if they have sleeping sickness. If they have the disease, they will start the medicine right away. A doctor will examine an infected person every two years. Drug companies will continue to find new medicines to cure When people from around the world come together to solve a problem to help cure diseases, it can...read more