Celebrating the First World Chagas Disease Day

Apr 14, 2020 3:00 AM ET
Press Release

For the first time in history, the global health community is preparing to celebrate World Chagas Disease Day. Novartis is joining the global movement to raise visibility and awareness of patients with Chagas disease1.

April 14, 2020 /3BL Media/ - The COVID-19 pandemic is a public health emergency with a devastating impact on communities and health systems worldwide. Against the backdrop of the pandemic, the global health community is coming together on World Chagas Disease Day to support education around Chagas disease. Less than 1% of affected individuals receive proper treatment2, and current tools to fight the disease are outdated and inadequate.

Chagas disease, also known as American trypanosomiasis, is a major public health challenge, affecting approximately 6 million people3, mainly in Latin America. It starts as a parasitic disease but can end in a chronic stage, leading to cardiac disorders in up to 30% of patients4,5. Novartis started the first clinical study in people with chronic Chagas cardiomyopathy to assess treatment options for these underserved patients in 2019.

Further, current Novartis research efforts aim to deliver anti-parasitic compounds with an improved safety and efficacy profile compared to current therapies.

Yet, treatment is only as good as the system that delivers it. Across Latin America, we are working with health authorities and stakeholders on healthcare system strengthening initiatives to improve health outcomes and access to innovation with the goal of ensuring no patient is left behind. Therefore, together with our partners, we are co-creating tailored access-to-medicine programs for patients to benefit from the best available care at a price they can afford.

Chagas disease is one of four Novartis global health flagship programs, together with leprosy, malaria and sickle cell disease.

Learn more about Novartis commitment to reimagining the fight against Chagas disease together with our partners

Learn more in the Chagas Coalition press release (Spanish only) 



  1. World Health Organization https://www.who.int/news-room/events/detail/2020/04/14/default-calendar/celebrating-world-chagas-disease-day-for-the-first-time-in-2020
  2. Barcelona Institute for Global Health: https://www.isglobal.org/en/enfermedad-de-chagas
  3. World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/chagas-disease-(american-trypanosomiasis
  4. Bocchi, E. A., Bestetti, R. B., Scanavacca, M. I., Neto, E. C., & Issa, V. S. (2017). Chronic Chagas heart disease management: from etiology to cardiomyopathy treatment. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 70(12), 1510-1524.
  5. Pérez-Molina, J. A., & Molina, I. (2018). Chagas disease. The Lancet, 391(10115), 82-94.