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"Challenges in the management of Chagas disease in Latin-American migrants in Europe"

B. Monge-Maillo, R. López-Vélez

Clinical Microbiology and Infection, advance article, 2017

Chagas disease is endemic in Latin America. Due to migration the infection has crossed borders and it is estimated that 68,000–120,000 people with Chagas disease are currently living in Europe and 30% of them may develop visceral involvement. However, up to 90% of Chagas disease cases in Europe remain undiagnosed. The challenges which have to be overcome in Chagas disease in non-endemic countries are focused on related downing barriers to health care access, and related to screening, diagnostic tools and therapeutic management. The aim of this review is to highlight how healthcare management for Latin American migrants with Chagas disease in Europe may be improved. Medical literature was searched using PubMed. No limits were placed with respect to the language or date of publication although most of the articles selected were articles published in the last five years. Chosen search terms were “Chagas disease” AND (“migrants” OR “screening” OR “transmission” OR “treatment”; OR “knowledge” OR “non-endemic countries”); migrants AND (“Public health” OR “Health Service Accessibility” OR “Delivery of Health care”); and “Congenital Chagas disease”. Healthcare management of migrant populations with Chagas disease in Europe has to be improved: -Surveillance programmes are needed to measure the burden of the disease; -screening programmes are needed; -administrative and cultural barriers in the access to health care for migrants should be reduced; -education programmes on Chagas disease should be performed -research on new diagnostic tools and therapeutic options are required. This review highlights the needs of profound changes in the health care of Latin American migrants with Chagas disease in Europe.

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