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Final Phase Of Filariasis Medicine Distribution Begins

Final Phase Of Filariasis Medicine Distribution Begins
L-R: World Health Organization Representative, Dr Angela Merianos, Ministry of Health and Medical services Permanent secretary, Phillip Davies, and Japan International Cooperation Agency representative, Shunichiro Ikeda at the Mass Drug Administration launch yesterday in Suva. Photo: Ministry of Health
February 17
11:00 2017

The final phase of a campaign that promotes awareness and distributes drugs that eliminates the threat of lymphatic filariasis caused by mosquitoes has begun.

The Mass Drug Administration campaign will focus in three areas in the country.

Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services Phillip Davies said the ministry plans intensive campaign in Malolo, Taveuni, and the Eastern division, with Taveuni starting next week.

“Then it will be rolled-out in Lau, Kadavu, and Lomaiviti in mid-March,” Mr Davies said.

Mr Davies said Lymphatic Filariasis continues to impose a significant health burden among our population and can cause long-term disabilities.

“Government through the Ministry of Health and Medical Services and its collaborative partners aim to eliminate lymphatic filariasis in Fiji by 2020,” he said.

World Health Organisation (WHO) representative, Dr Angela Merianos said: “It’s a mosquito borne disease which was once very common in the tropical areas of the world.”

It is caused by a parasitic worm that lives in the body and damages the lymphatic system of humans.

The most common symptom is elephantiasis which is the swelling of the limbs.

The Ministry has encouraged people to take the drugs with water in the presence of visiting team member.

Trained village health workers, volunteers and nurses will be involved in distributing the medicines.

A small survey will be conducted lone week after the drug distribution to validate the level of coverage achieved. The progamme began in 2002.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa




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