NEWS

Ministry of Health To Commence Mass Drug Administration In The North

WHO Neglected Tropical Disease Technical Officer, Merelesita Qaniuci highlighted that this is a unique opportunity for the people of the Northern Division to play a part in getting rid of these diseases from the community.
28 Jun 2019 11:58
Ministry of Health To Commence Mass Drug Administration In The North

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services will roll out a Mass Drug Administration (MDA) Campaign in the Northern Division through the Fiji Center for Communicable Disease Control from the 1st of July to the 10th of August.

This program will treat and prevent three debilitating conditions such as scabies, lymphatic filariasis and intestinal worms.

Divisional Medical Officer Northern Dr Hariharasubramanian Veera explained that a Mass Drug Administration (MDA) is when everyone in a community takes medication to treat those who are affected as well as prevent these diseases from occurring in the future by stopping transmission from one person to another.

“This will protect you, your family, your friends and neighbors and it is an effective way of reducing the threat of these diseases”, he added.

WHO Neglected Tropical Disease Technical Officer, Merelesita Qaniuci highlighted that this is a unique opportunity for the people of the Northern Division to play a part in getting rid of these diseases from the community.

This campaign is supported by Government Ministries, World Health Organisation and Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne.

National Lymphatic Filariasis Coordinator, Mrs Vinaisi Bechu, said Lymphatic filariasis (LF) is a parasitic disease transmitted by mosquitoes.

It can cause significant swelling of limbs, breast, and genital organs.

She further added that it is important for everyone in the Northern Division to take their tablets during this mass drug administration.”

Coordinator of the Northern Division Scabies Control Program, Dr Li Jun Thean, said that scabies is an itchy skin disease caused by mites burrowing under the skin.

The itch causes trauma that breaks the skin and allows bacteria to enter our body which can lead to severe skin infections, infections throughout our body, rheumatic fever and kidney disease.

“Scabies is a huge problem in Fiji, according to a national survey, up to one in five people have scabies at any time. The Northern Division has the highest proportion of people affected with scabies and we hope to reduce these bacterial complications through MDA” she added.

National Public Health Laboratory Manager, Mrs Talica Cabemaiwai said intestinal worms such as Hookworms, round worms, tapeworms, etc, infect around 24 per cent of the world’s population and are common in Fiji, particularly with children.

“These harmful intestinal worms cause malnutrition, poor growth, abdominal pain and nausea in both adults and children. The tablets used in this Mass Drug Administration are highly effective in killing these harmful intestinal worms.”

Health personnel and community health workers will be visiting homes, schools and selected workplaces throughout the Northern Division to distribute the MDA. The Ministry of Health and Medical Services encourages everyone to take this opportunity to take their tablets and play their part in securing better health for all.

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