Prevention of Chagas'
There are many
facets to the spread of Chagas' disease. The bite of infected
vinchucas (T. infestans)
is one factor but vinchucas infest houses because of
external precipitating factors, such as poverty, migration,
and environmental destruction. Andeans link its spread to
to the fact that people no longer consider earth as sacred.
and timbering cause millions of acres of forests to disappear
in the Americas. Deforestation reduces natural habitats for
animals and insects so vinchucas become domiciary.
Peasants lose land, so they move to the cities, often introducing
vinchucas and T. cruzi to previously non-endemic
areas. Chagas' disease is found in New York, Washington, Los
Angeles, and other cities in the U.S. and Europe. Resources
given to the fight of chagas are often inadequate due to domestic
and international political climates. International and national
health policies have often considered chagas a low priority.
They have not allocated necessary resources to prevent it,
even though it is considered the number one obstacle to development
in many countries.
is similar to other parasitic and tropical diseases that affect
poor people in the Americas, Africa, and Asia. These people
have been inured to the socio-economic conditions brought
about by a political economy that
unjustly treats them. Not only does T. cruzi establish
a destructive parasitic relationship in their bodies, but
also land owners, politicians, and industrialists place peasants
in an exploitive/parasitic relationship. Because peasants
are ignorant of the connection between Chagas' disease and
socio-economic causes, efforts are needed to educate them
on how to halt this victimization. Below are some of the ways
this is being done.