More than 90% of the population at risk of contracting Filaria
The Ministry of Public Health’s Vector Control Services Unit on Tuesday began rolling out its campaign against Filaria.
The Filaria Elimination Mass Drug Adminstration campaign will be targeting residents in regions 4 and 10 in its first phase, before moving to other parts of the country.
Filaria is the disease which causes what is commonly referred to as Big Foot. It is transmitted by the Culex mosquito which carries microscopic worms known as micro-filariae.
Coordinator of the Neglected infectious diseases Department within the Vector Control Services Unit, Dr. Fabu Moses says at present, more than 90 percent of the population is at risk of contracting Filaria.
“We did a study on Primary School children in Regions one to ten and this gave us some figures that showed that our country or 90% of our population is at risk of contracting the small worms; micro-filariae in adulthood” she related.
The Vector Control Unit and Ministry of Public Health is now taking looking to ensure that everyone over the age of two who is not pregnant or considered to be very ill is medicated.
“The Mass Drug Adminstration campaign has quite a few different facets so there is the part where we go house to house and give information as well as tablets to persons in the households to drink infront of us actually. We will be walking around to homes with the containers, the medications, the original containers that the medication came in so that people could be able to see where they were made, their expiry date because a lot of people has concerns about things that are going into their bodies and rightfully so” she noted.
For those persons who are not available when the teams visit their homes, tablets will be available at health centres since the medication is not available in pharmacies.
The ministry also runs a weekly clinic for filaria patients which on a monthly basis treats about 80 persons.