TotalEnergies Supports Chagas Control Plan in Lagunillas
For 5 years, the project worked in 8 Guarani communities with a pilot strategy based on community participation, achieving optimal results.
Chagas is an endemic disease in several regions of the country and is transmitted by the kissing bug -Tryatoma infestans, locally called Vinchuca -. One of the most affected areas is the Chaco region. The precariousness of housing favors the proliferation of the vector, making it necessary to implement comprehensive strategies to combat it.
A program led by TotalEnergies in partnership with the Andean Development Corporation (CAF) and the French Institute for Research and Development (IRD) demonstrated that with integrated and sustained efforts, a significant reduction in the presence of the kissing bug, and therefore infections, can be achieved.
The project, which collaborated with the Universidad Mayor de San Simón (UMSS) and its medical entomology laboratory, was carried out from June 2017 for 5 years in the municipality of Lagunillas, in coordination with the Municipal Autonomous Government of Lagunillas, the Subgovernorate of the Cordillera province, the Alto Parapetí Indigenous Territory (TCO), and the Iupaguasu TCO. It reached the communities of Tenta Piau, El Tunal, Curupaití, Itaimi, Iviyeca, Tasete, Yapumbia, and Yaiti.
TotalEnergies allocated 348,000 Bolivianos annually to the program and contributed to improving the living conditions of these populations, promoting the Sustainable Development Goals, reflecting the comprehensive vision driving their social investment.
The work materialized into a pilot strategy based on community participation. This allowed for the identification and implementation of technical and educational activities to promote control measures, achieving very positive indicators.
Thanks to the project, the infestation of kissing bugs in homes drastically reduced from 50% to 5%, with 93 affected homes initially and only 14 at the conclusion. Out of the eight communities benefited, four were completely free of kissing bugs at the end of the project. These insects were only found outside the homes of the other four communities, and the interiors remained free of infestations.
Moreover, between 30 and 80% of homes applied vector control techniques, and in communities where there was greater commitment to participation and vigilance, the highest levels of success were achieved.
During these years, coinciding with the Covid-19 health emergency, a "toolbox" was established, containing brochures, manuals, and other educational materials to be shared at fairs.
The process included entomological surveys, home spraying, sociological workshops, and educational fairs organized in different schools.
At the end of the five-year process, a comprehensive evaluation was conducted, and various materials were distributed under the slogan "Vivir sin vinchucas".