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Since the year 2000, Chagas disease, traditionally known as a rural Latin American affliction, has been rising in the ranking of international health priorities due to the growing migration flows from endemic areas to non-endemic ones. Using the example of Italy and reporting preliminary results of a study carried out in the district of Bologna, the paper will argue that a disease-centred public health approach might be inadequate when dealing with complex and uncertain situations, in which complete statistical data are not available or not reliable, and in which the involved actors, health professionals on the one side, migrants on the other, appear to be unaware of the issue, or might even be denying it. In such a context, an effective public health approach should be capable of crossing disciplinary boundaries and bridging the gap between health services and communities, as well as between health and social issues.


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