November 16-18, 2012: Mundo Sano, an Argentinean non-profit focused on facilitating a broader reach for efforts linked to Chagas disease, issued a press release todayannouncing their involvement in the NTD conference this weekend in DC.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Bank are hosting Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases  this weekend to build on the London Declaration on NTDs and bring together the various stakeholders, such as non-profits, national governments and pharmaceutical companies, to determine what steps are necessary to further the goals established by the Declaration last January. 

During this event, Mundo Sano hosted a meeting on Chagas disease and the access to treatments in non-endemic countries, as well as potential policies to prevent the disease from spreading further.  Chagas affects more than 8 million people in the Western Hemisphere, including 300,000 people in the United States. According to Mundo Sano’s press release, a study published by the Infectious Diseases Society of America estimated there are more than 300,000d people infected with Chagas disease in the United States.

Sabin Vaccine Institute president, Dr. Peter Hotez is quoted in the press release saying, “Chagas disease is a serious public health problem, not just in Latin America, but also in the United States. It is crucial that we expand our efforts to fight Chagas by improving training for health care providers, developing safer and more effective treatments while simultaneously developing new vaccines. Only with a combined effort can we eliminate this disease, which disproportionally affects people living in poverty throughout the Western Hemisphere.”

Those attending the Mundo Sano meeting on Chagas disease, as well as the entire Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases event are hopeful that these next three days will facilitate concrete plans for action in line with the London Declaration, as well as cultivate new partnerships in the fight to end 10 NTDs by 2020.

To learn more, read the full press release here.