The relationship with several families from Valle Alto, Cochabamba, reveals such a crucial information from in-depth interviews, pointing on different sociocultural aspects as an influential factor when it comes to the access to information and health care for the entire population in a hyper-endemic region like that.
This research started in 2018 by collecting data and experiences from several affected families, resulting on three categories, closely interrelated with each other: the structural component, the psychosocial component, and a plural health system component. This means that an interdisciplinary approach to their circumstances demonstrates how the social, economic and family living conditions influence the perception of the disease and its acceptance, along with other issues related to gender, social representations of this sometimes invisible but fatal disease, and the accessibility to the public health system in terms of seeking comprehensive health care.
The conclusions of the study point to the urge of improving the knowledge about the daily lives of the people affected by Chagas and how they manage the situation, in order to adapt the protocols and access to diagnosis and treatment to their realities. Also, the authors emphasize the need for a general improvement on the education about Chagas disease, not only from a social perspective, avoiding the eventual stigmatization and discrimination, but consequently to promote a social awareness that make that comprehensive health care possible.
The aim now consists on strengthening early detection in the acute phase as a strategy to provide timely antiparasitic treatment and prevent the illness and all its effects.