MINISTER for Health Dr Neil Sharma says a national survey on lymphatic filariasis in 2007 indicates that Fiji had a prevalence rate of 9.6 per cent compared with the baseline rate of 16.9 per cent registered in 2001.
Dr Sharma said the Ministry of Health had done an exemplary job in the control of lymphatic filariasis, adding that Fiji was on target to eliminate the disease ahead of the global target date of 2020.
In launching the World Health Day celebration in Naulu on Monday, Dr Sharma said with support from the World Health Organization, the ministry's intensive mass drug administration against lymphatic filariasis campaign in the past six years had presumably reduced the rates even further in high risk localities around the country.
"When it becomes available, the results of the lymphatic filariasis prevalence survey conducted last year in the northern, eastern and central health divisions will enlighten us of the status of lymphatic filariasis in Fiji," he said.
World Health Organization director Pacific technical support and representative Dr Yunguo Liu said lymphatic filariasis was the other indigenously transmitted vector-borne disease in Fiji.
Dr Liu said lymphatic filariasis was endemic in 73 countries globally, which included 22 countries across Asia and the Pacific, of which 15 were Pacific Island countries.