Ministry of Health of Neuquén Province

This is an infection caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, which can lead to serious heart and digestive complications.

On Chagas virus-free Argentina’s National Day, the Ministry of Health of the province of Neuquén informed that the province remains free of vector transmission of Chagas virus, an infection caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. To this end, at the provincial level, a comprehensive approach to this pathology has been adopted through the interdisciplinary work of the health team. This also means that the prevalence of Chagas disease in pregnant women is low and there are few cases of vertical transmission.

Chagas disease, an infection caused by a parasite called Trypanosoma cruzi, can cause serious heart and gastrointestinal complications that can only be detected with blood tests.

The most common forms of transmission include: vector transmission (When these insects (vinchucas) bite, they defecate and deposit the parasite near the bite, and humans introduce the parasite into the wound by scratching); and vertical transmission (When a person who is capable of becoming pregnant becomes infected with Chagas virus and transmits it to the baby during pregnancy or childbirth).

To clarify, Chagas disease is not transmitted through sexual relations or breastfeeding. The most common mode of transmission in Argentina is vertical/congenital transmission.

Regarding the province, Minister of Health Andrea Pevi noted: “Since 2001, we have been continuously certified as vector-free by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), which means that the germs found in the province until now, they have Not infected with the parasite that causes Chagas disease”.

Likewise, the head of the provincial health department said: “If Chagas disease is detected in time, it can be prevented, treated and cured, and the earlier it is detected, the greater the chance of cure.”

National Law No. 26281 stipulates that all public health institutions must provide free examination, diagnosis and treatment for pregnant women, and conduct relevant diagnostic examinations for pregnant women during pregnancy examinations.

As a result, Chagas screening coverage for pregnant women in the province will exceed 95 percent by 2022, with only 0.8 percent of pregnant women testing positive. In addition, 1 case of congenital/vertical Chagas disease that was treated promptly was reported. This is thanks to the early detection, containment and treatment carried out by the Neuquén public health system.

In addition, in order to continue to be a Chagas disease vector-free province, the Bureau of Epidemiology, Bureau of Health Information, Bureau of Environmental Health, Bureau of Maternity and Children, Central Laboratory and Health Institute.

Similarly, entomological surveillance of the potato triatomine bug in the province revealed the presence of Trypanosoma cruzi in homes and surrounding environments.

On the other hand, professionals working in perinatal care in the province have also begun to receive training in the strategy of “Eliminating Mother-to-Infant Transmission of Infections (ETMI Plus)”. It is involved in the transmission of infections such as HIV, syphilis, Chagas virus and hepatitis B.

The ETMI Plus initiative aims to achieve and sustain the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of these infections that pose a public health threat, while contributing to the development of principles and lines of action for universal access to health and services. Universal health coverage.

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