Chagas Disease silently kills tens of thousands each year. Around 6-7 million people, most of whom are poor, live with the parasite worldwide (68.000 -170.00 in Europe). However, less than 1% receives treatment. Acknowledging that political willingness is necessary to revert this situation, our main goal is to increase access to diagnosis and treatment by improving awareness of Chagas Disease (CD) with and among affected populations and health professionals. Our strategy is to implement a pilot Information, Education and Communication project that will increase access to the International Health Service of the “Clínic” Hospital, in Barcelona, Spain, the European country with the biggest CD affected population. Later and most relevantly, this experience will be studied through our research (focussed on migrant families CD health attention’s demand). We will divulgate these practices among other actors of the Global Chagas Disease Coalition encouraging replication.
This strategy will only success if it incorporates all key stakeholders since the beginning, from the design of activities to its evaluation. Key stakeholders are migrant populations, patients & patient’s associations, and health professionals. We will closely work with women as change agents in spreading the word about CD. Through training and distribution of IEC kits, women will lead the IEC practices across their communities. The participation will also be promoted in the design of the research protocol to deepen the knowledge on social and economic determinants preventing the access to health services. Another key element of engagement and non-formal science education will be the actions done with and for associations of patients, aiming at empowering and accompany them in the advocacy and communication activities. Closely working with them we make sure our project respond to their needs. Finally, other key stakeholders include key decision-makers, scientific-community, key actors working in CD and general public who will be key receptors and/or diffusors of the awareness actions. By integrating different stakeholders we hope to promote gender, responsibility, ownership and recognition of the added values of the community.