Health Surveillance and Disease Management / Communicable Diseases / Chagas Disease

AMCHA: Initiative of the Amazon Countries for Surveillance and Control of Chagas Disease


Annual Meetings: 2006 | 2005 |  2004

Other Subregional Initiatives
- INCOSUR (Southern Cone)
- IPCA (Central America)
- IPA (Andean)


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Useful Sites/References

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Tropical Disease Research:

The delegates of the countries of the Amazon region, participating in the International Workshop on Surveillance and Prevention of Chagas Disease (Manaus, 2004), propose creation of an Initiative of the Amazon Countries for Surveillance and Control of Chagas Disease (AMCHA) to be formally constituted by decision and political agreement of the Ministers of Health.

Participating Countries: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela.

General Objective: Prevention of large-scale establishment of endemic vectoral transmission of Chagas disease in the Amazon region.

Specific Objectives

  • Development and implementation of a system of regular epidemiological surveillance, integrated with and making best use of, the resources, services and health programs already available.
  • Development of methods and/or techniques for control appropriate to the known mechanisms of transmission (extra-domestic vectoral transmission, intradomestic transmission without vectoral colonization, oral-route transmission).
  • Development of new understanding of the epidemiology of Chagas disease in the region (following research suggestions made at meeting).

Proposed Support Structure

  1. An InterGovernmental Commission (Comisión Intergubernamental / CI) to be constituted by express and formal delegation by the health authorities of each country, as soon as this proposal is approved by the Ministries of Health.
  2. A Technical Secretariat, under the responsibility of PAHO/WHO through their representation in Brazil.
  3. An Executive Technical Coordination Group, with specific responsibilities defined by the delegates of the member countries, hosted in rotation each two years. This Technical Coordination Group would be responsible to promote national efforts to implement the recommendations and mandates of the Intergovernmental Commission. In view of the research needs, it would also be appropriate that representatives of the research community should be included as advisers to the Technical Coordination Group, to assist in supervision, motivation, and coordination of the ongoing research.

Proposed Host Country for Executive Technical Coordination Group: Brazil.

Initial Task: Definition and standardization of procedures for epidemiological surveillance, with such proposals to be discussed in a future ad hoc meeting with specialist technical personnel designated by each member country.

Responsibility for the Executive Technical Coordination Group: With an Institution designated by the Government of the host country, according to the requirements indicated by the Technical Secretary of the Initiative.

Proposed Implementation Activities

  1. Annual meetings of the CI in the host countries, by rotation, in order to analyze progress, achievements and constraints in the process of implementation of the Initiative, as well as setting specific annual goals.
  2. Make use of technical cooperation projects between countries (TCCs/PAHO) especially during the initial phase because of the differing levels of national experience.
  3. Recognizing existing networks that could continue to benefit the Initiative, develop exchange systems between countries and institutions with capacity and interest relevant to the objectives, such as ECLAT/CDIA, OTCA, MSF, EC, etc.

Proposed Actions

  • Request that OTCA include the AMCHA Initiative within its Special Commission on Public Health (CESAM), and adopt the same objectives.
  • Request that PAHO appropriately circulate the 2004 meeting report.
  • Request that ORAS-CONHU and the PAHO Country Representatives take appropriate steps to bring about agreement from the Ministries of Health to include the creation of the AMCHA Initiative in the agenda of the next Ministers' Meeting (Santiago de Chile, 2005).
  • For National Delegates to make a the proposal to the respective national authorities fpr the creation of the AMCHA Initiative.