The XII Workshop on Chagas Disease took place in Casa del Mar, Barcelona, on March 3rd. The event was organized by ISGlobal in collaboration with the Mundo Sano Foundation, and brought together 170 participants worldwide. During the workday, the experts discussed diagnostic and treatment tools as well as their accessibility.
The workshop, considered as an international reference in the field, was presented by Dr. Joaqum Gascon, director of the Chagas Initiative at ISGlobal, and inaugurated by Dr. Joan Guix, director of the Public Health Agency of Catalonia (ASPC), who gave an overview of the Agency’s strategy for the detection, treatment and prevention of the disease and highlighted the role of climate change and migration in the spread of diseases like Chagas.
The first speaker, Dr. Sergio Sosa Estani, presented the results of the BENEFIT trial, an international and multicentre study that involved five countries, 49 sites and 2,854 patients with advanced Chagas heart disease. The results highlight the importance of initiating treatment at earlier phases of the disease. In turn, Dr. Laurence Flévaud, from the MSF NGO, emphasized during her talk the urgent need to develop new diagnostic tools in order to increase the number of people treated.
Three work groups were organized in order to further debate on issues such as clinical case management and treatment criteria, the use of diagnostic tools according to the type of patient and the place where the test is performed; and different strategies to improve accessibility.
A series of oral communications presented new clinical and epidemiological data for Spain, community participation experiences, new strategies for decision taking in Public Health, and recent advances in diagnostic tools.
Other activities related to the workshop, that took place before and after the event, include meetings of the Ibero-American Network NHEPACHA, the Global Chagas Coalition and FIND.