NATION

Anti-Filariasis Tablets Come Around Again

The Ministry of Health launched the 11th round of mass drug administration (MDA) against lymphatic filariasis at Mataika House, in Tamavua yesterday. The programme will run until October 24 with
18 Oct 2014 07:31
Anti-Filariasis Tablets Come Around Again
From left: Acting Deputy Secretary for Public Health, Dr David Whippy, JICA’s assistant resident representative Shiro Kitazawa, and World Health Organisation director of division of Pacific Techical Support Padmasiri Aratchige, taking their filariasis tablets in Tamavua yesterday. Photo: Ana Sovaraki

The Ministry of Health launched the 11th round of mass drug administration (MDA) against lymphatic filariasis at Mataika House, in Tamavua yesterday.

The programme will run until October 24 with tablets distributed to targetted areas in the Eastern Division, Taveuni Subdivision and target areas of Malolo.

The acting deputy secretary for public health, Dr Dave Whippy, said they were launching the campaign in their attempt to rid Fiji of this potentially debilitating disease.

“The Ministry of Health and its multilateral partner, the World Health Organization (WHO), together with its bilateral partner the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have this same vision of eliminating filariasis from Fiji by 2018,” Dr Whippy said.

He said if people in the targetted areas take their tablets then he was optimistic that Fiji would guarantee a move to eliminating the disease from those localities.

“The population in the Western, Central and parts of the Northern Division has set the benchmark for Fiji.

“If we are all of the view that this is a social responsibility and take the tablets accordingly then the vision to eliminate lymphatic filariaris becomes a concerted effort and therefore it becomes our legacy to future generations,” Dr. Whippy said.

He said the Ministry of Health and its partners have been working together in the past couple of months to have the tablets accessible to every individual.

“We have 43 volunteers and health staff who will all be working to administer the drugs. The volunteers will approach you, they will register and administer the drugs. Only a very sick person, pregnant women, and children under two years of age are exempt from taking the drugs,” Dr Whippy said.

Meanwhile, WHO Neglected Tropical Diseases Division of the Pacific Technical Support Officer, Padmasiri Aratchige said the 11th round of MDA was way above the usual five to six rounds of MDA required to stop infection.

“Achieving a high coverage of MDA in these last remaining epidemic foci will be critical to the success Fiji Lymphatic Filiriasis elimination programme if we are to reach the global 2020 Lymphatic Filariasis elimination target,” Mr Aratchige said.

“We would be looking at a minimum of 75 per cent of directly observed treatment coverage”.

Feedback: ana.sovaraki@fijisun.com.fj

 



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