Foto: Médicos Sin Fronteras
Brief summary on story:
In Arauca department, North-eastern Colombia bordering Venezuela, MSF runs mobile clinics in rural, semi-urban and urban areas. The MSF team provides primary healthcare, with a focus on sexual and reproductive health, mental health care and assistance to victims of violence. In 2009, MSF did nearly 15,000 medical consultations in Arauca. In November, MSF also started diagnosing and treating Chagas disease in Arauca. Chagas disease, endemic in most Latin American countries, is transmitted mostly by an insect common in rural areas and city outskirts, from mother to child or through blood transfusion. If untreated, the disease can lead to serious health problems, mainly heart and intestinal complications, and eventually to death. Arauca has one of the highest prevalence rates of Chagas in the country, with nearly eight percent of the population estimated to be infected.