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Filariasis wipeout

Mere Naleba
Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Ministry of Health is pleading with members of the public to take advantage of the three days campaign that will focus on eradicating filariasis in the country.

The nationwide campaign will see health workers visiting communities in the Central/Eastern Division and the Northern Division handing out filariasis tablets to members of the public who are older than two years.

While launching the program, Health Minister Dr Neil Sharma said the goal of the anticipated campaign was to free members of the public from suffering the consequences of the disease and in effect to eliminate the disease completely from the country.

"This is an important project, it became a national campaign because the disease affects national productivity, it also adversely affects the way of life for those affected and I urge the people of this country to come forward and be treated," he said.

A survey conducted by the ministry in 2007 showed that 9.6 per cent of the country's population had contracted the disease but did not show any symptoms.

"One in 10 persons in our community is still infected with filariasis especially in high risk localities, as such we still have yet to achieve the less than one per cent prevalence requirements to declare elimination of filariasis," national advisor for communicable disease, Dr Mike Kama said.

Dr Kama said approximately 2300 Health Ministry volunteers would be infiltrating the communities, registering household members and later distributing the filariasis tablets.

The Western Division is the only division in the country that has acquired the test and treat policy, which is yet to be adopted by the Central/Eastern and Northern divisions.

The Central/Eastern Division recorded the highest number of filariasis cases. The campaign starts on October 26 and will end on October 28.

"We are asking members of the communities to watch for MoH volunteers that will be coming around to their communities on these mentioned dates. People can identify them by the orange vests that they will be wearing," said Dr Kama.





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