Chagas disease, which is caused by infection with the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, is known as the silent disease. An estimated 8 million people have the disease and most of them do not know that they are infected.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recognises a group of diseases that have received insufficient attention from governments and health agencies. These are often diseases that affect people who live in low-income areas and regions with hot, humid climates. They are classified as Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) and have also been called the forgotten diseases. Chagas is a neglected tropical disease.
Today, many people are working to raise public and political awareness of Chagas disease and to ensure that all those affected can get treatment.