A policy analysis of Chagas disease in the U.S. and Texas

Rebecca Hornbach, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Chagas disease is an emerging public health issue that affects as many as 300,000 to 1 million people across the nation. The objective of this project was to examine and prioritize possible policy actions to address Chagas disease in the U.S. so that health authorities, and Texas officials in particular, can better address this emerging health threat. The methods included a literature review, interviews with key informants, and policy analysis. Research revealed several existing federal and state policies that currently address Chagas disease in the U.S. and the organizations involved in addressing the public health threat. The literature and key informants also identified eight federal and five state policy proposals that could further address Chagas disease. The 13 proposed policies were evaluated and ranked using three criteria: level to which they fill gaps identified by the scientific community, level of practicality in the policymaking sphere, and level to which they align with current CDC objectives for addressing neglected parasitic infections. Three policy recommendations for federal and state policymakers emerged from this work. Federal policymakers should pursue (1) FDA drug approval, (2) legislation on neglected tropical diseases, and (3) organ donor screening. Texas state policymakers should consider (1) state-recommended targeted screening, (2) Local health department policies, and (3) state legislation on neglected tropical diseases. In addition, I also describe non-government objectives and strategies that advocates should consider to immediately increase the response to Chagas disease in the U.S.

Subject Area

Public health|Public policy|Epidemiology

Recommended Citation

Hornbach, Rebecca, "A policy analysis of Chagas disease in the U.S. and Texas" (2014). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1599377.