Chagas, a disease often described as a silent killer, affects 7 million people worldwide. It is endemic in many parts of the Americas, especially rural and poor areas, and causes 12,000 deaths a year. Global population movements have led to chronic cases of Chagas disease being increasingly reported in US and Europe in migrants from Latin America. Although it has rarely been reported in the UK, numbers are likely to be underestimated based on migration data, the known prevalence of the disease in endemic countries and the little awareness among the public and health services.
The Hub is focussed on three main activities:
- raising awareness of Chagas disease amongst the Latin American community in the UK and the health professionals working with them,
- improving clinical services for those with, or at risk of Chagas disease.
- conducting research into epidemiology & clinical manifestations of the disease and
The Hub recently joined the London Centre for NTD Research, a collaboration between Imperial College London, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Natural History Museum and Royal Veterinary College; and a blog was published on the World Chagas Day on 14th April 2018.
The Hub is also a member of the Global Chagas Coalition, an open and collaborative alliance which shares experience, knowledge and capacity for action to alleviate human suffering caused by the Chagas, and ultimately controlling the disease.
We are setting up a Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) advisory group of Latin Americans to ensure the initiative activities stay rooted in the priorities of people at risk of the infection. Former and current patients with Chagas disease, family and other members of the public from Latin American countries are welcome to join us. If you are interested, you can download the PPI leaflet and/or contact us if you would like further information.
We have developed information resources for healthcare professionals, the general public who might be interested in getting tested in English and Spanish, and patients receiving treatment of Chagas Disease (in both English and Spanish).
The HTD provides diagnostic and treatment services in a dedicated Chagas clinic, the only one of its kind in the UK and run by Spanish speaking consultants. For referrals of patients, where the disease is suspected, go to Information For Doctors page on this website.
For advice and guidance on healthcare needs of at risk Latin American migrants for healthcare practitioners, see the PHE Chagas Disease: Migrant Health Guide.
For further information on the UK Chagas Hub email us using the link at the top of the page.