Challenges of addressing neglected tropical diseases amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa: A case of Chagas Disease

Aishwarya Umesh Pradhan, Olivier Uwishema*, Jack Wellington, Philemon Nisingizwe, Vimala Devi Thambi, Chinyere Vivian Patrick Onyeaka, Helen Onyeaka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Chagas Disease (CD) is an infectious, neglected tropical disease (NTD) that has affected over 1.7 billion people worldwide. Unfortunately, most countries usually put little effort into mitigating the spread of NTDs, having weak public health approaches, diagnostic delays, and ineffective clinical management guidelines and resources. However, the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, exacerbates the impact of NTDs. In this review, we examine the subsequent changes that have been imposed on CD prevention and treatment. Articles from Google Scholar and PubMed were extracted which satisfied our inclusion criteria. From our data, we gather that COVID-19 has — from preventive measures to treating patients — greatly affected every stage in the fight against CD. For instance, co-infection of CD and COVID-19 puts patients at higher risk for cardiomyopathy (i.e., atrial fibrillation, chronic heart failure), yet no clinical guidelines were established for co-infected patients. To mitigate the spread of CD during the COVID-19 pandemic, further investigations on the impacts of co-infections and vaccines that can be developed to treat such conditions are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104414
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Medicine and Surgery
Volume81
Early online date20 Aug 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
None.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors

Keywords

  • Africa
  • Chagas disease
  • Comorbidity
  • COVID-19
  • Neglected tropical diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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