Chagas disease, a vector-borne parasitic disease originally found only in rural areas in the Americas, has now spread to non-endemic areas as a result of migration. The destination of these migratory flows can be either within the country of origin or to other countries.
In Europe, where Chagas disease was not previously encountered, the problem has emerged as a result of migratory flows from endemic areas in Latin America. Between 2011 and 2015, in the framework of a Mundo Sano programme in Spanish health care centres, 3,288 people were tested and 698 diagnosed with Chagas disease. Most of those affected started treatment. Spontaneous demand for diagnostic testing has also grown and 3,628 people have been treated for Chagas disease in the centres. In a programme called Mothers Committed to Chagas, Mundo Sano trained women who were themselves affected by the disease to act as health agents. The work of these agents has been a decisive factor in the success of the programme. With the collaboration of the World Health Organisation and a public-private alliance to distribute the treatment, the results achieved are noteworthy: 10% of the people infected with Chagas disease in Spain are treated, as compared to only 1% elsewhere in the world.