Did you know?
Venezuela is among the 50 countries with the highest rates of obesity and overweight. According to WHO, diabetes – mostly type 2 diabetes – is the fourth cause of death in Venezuela behind heart disease, stroke and violence. Diabetes is responsible for 7% of total death, and is expected to rise dramatically over coming decades. As a result, Venezuela and other Latin American countries are facing a growing multiple-disease burden, as health authorities strive to protect populations from non-communicable as well as infectious diseases.
Chagas disease is little known outside Latin America but it affects up to 10 million people living in the continent.1 Venezuela is one of the endemic countries. Some 30% of those infected die from a heart attack caused by this blood-borne virus, while in some cases it can cause an acute form of meningitis or swelling of the brain. An estimated 41,200 people are infected annually, and 14,400 children are born with congenital Chagas disease annually.1 Chagas occurs almost exclusively in rural areas, where triatomines breed and feed on domestic and wild mammals, as well as humans.
1.Rassi A Jr, Rassi A, Marcondes de Rezende J. American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease). Infect Dis Clin North Am 2012; 26(2): 275-91..
(1): CIA factbook
(2): WHO 2008
(3): IDF Diabetes Atlas, 5th edition annual update, 2012