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March 20, 2017

Nicholas Gildersleeve is a Canadian from Frelighsburg, Quebec, who until recently served as Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)’s head of mission in Bolivia — a country with the world’s highest incidence of Chagas, which is endemic in 60 per cent of its territory. The disease, which is found almost exclusively in Latin America and is transmitted by triatomine insects (also known as “kissing bugs”), is mostly asymptomatic for the first years of infection, but will often eventually result in debilitating complications that can shorten life expectancy by an average of 10 years. Heart complications are the most common cause of death in infected adults.