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Fiji Time: 2:28 PM on Friday 25 April

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Filariasis assessment

Torika Tokalau
Saturday, February 22, 2014

SIX and seven-year olds from 77 schools in the Western Division will be tested for the presence of lymphatic filariasis.

The blood test is part of the Health Ministry's transmission assessment survey to assess the effectiveness of the mass drug administration for the elimination of filariasis in Fiji.

National adviser for communicable disease Dr Mike Kama said the tests would only be conducted if parents or guardians gave their consent.

"We are on the verge of eliminating the disease in the Western Division," Dr Kama said.

He said the rationale was after seven to 10 years of a mass drug administration, its effectiveness would be shown in children.

"We anticipate that children will be free from the disease," he said.

Dr Kama said in the last transmission assessment survey, the West recorded a positivity rate 0.03 per cent for the presence of filariasis.

"This signifies that we have satisfied this concept of eliminating lymphatic filariasis in the Western Division with the first transmission survey."

He said after three transmission surveys, the World Health Organization and the ministry could then conjointly declare the division free from the disease.

He confirmed that the survey would also be on soil transmitted elements, which include hookworms and other worm infestation parasites.

The transmission assessment survey will run from February 24 to March 28.