Geneva University Hospitals
The Geneva University hospitals and the University of Geneva have been conducting research on Chagas disease, engaging with communities, treating patients and developing public health responses since 2007.
Research activities aim at documenting the multifaceted challenges raised by the emergence of Chagas disease in non-endemic countries and at developing knowledge on its clinical management. Epidemiological studies have contributed to portray the population at risk in Europe, including its socioeconomic profile and challenges in accessing to care and to document T. cruzi congenital transmission.
Clinical research has explored the use of rapid diagnostic tests and of proteomic markers as indicators of response to antiparasitic treatment, the tolerance to nifurtimox in adults, and the presence of metabolic and infectious comorbidities.
The Geneva University hospitals facilitate access to care to immigrants, including undocumented without health insurance in a health equity perspective. This has allowed to gain insight into and to develop cooperation with latino immigrants communities in Geneva. Today, screening is offered in various care settings in order to optimize effectiveness. Medical management includes disease staging, treatment provision and post-treatment follow-up in a holistic perspective including social support. Clinical guidelines are now shared by the two largest public hospitals in Western Switzerland.
Public health interventions encompass the systematic screening of pregnant women at risk in Geneva and Lausanne University Hospitals, the implementation of a national blood donor screening program, community engagement including the creation of a Chagas disease support group (Aswisschagas) affiliated to the international network of support groups (FINDECHAGAS) with education and communication activities in different cities.