Chagas disease

Published on April 30, 2020   44 min

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Hello. My name is Peter Hotez. I'm a professor at the Baylor College of Medicine. I'm Professor of Pediatrics, Molecular Virology, and Microbiology. I'm also a dean of our National School of Tropical Medicine.
Our School of Tropical Medicine is relatively new. It began in 2011. The goal is to create a North American equivalent to your wonderful Liverpool and London Schools of Tropical Medicine in the United Kingdom.
We're based in Houston, Texas. Our National School of Tropical Medicine is part of this extraordinary Texas Medical Center, which is really a 'medical city', maybe the world's first medical city that's comprised of over 60 institutions and a 100,000 employees who do everything big in Texas of course and that includes Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital. It also includes the MD Anderson Cancer Center. Our goal as the National School of Tropical Medicine is to harness the research and training strengths of this amazing Texas Medical Center to develop new technology for the diseases of poverty.
Today, we're going to be speaking about Chagas disease, which is one of 20 so-called neglected tropical diseases, or NTDs. This is a term and a framework that we helped develop in the early 2000s to refer to this group of tropical infections that are highly prevalent among the poor. They represent the most common afflictions of people living in poverty. They tend to be chronic and disabling conditions. I sometimes refer to them as the most important diseases you've never heard of and indeed that's a major subject of this course. An important element of these diseases, is they both occur in the setting of poverty, but they're also a self cause of poverty because of their debilitating effects on worker productivity, childhood development, and pregnancy outcome. On the right, I'm showing you a book I wrote beginning in the 2000s and now it's gone into its second edition, which you can refer to to get overviews of these neglected tropical diseases, including today's subject on Chagas disease. The book has also now been translated into Japanese.