This is our chance to eliminate ‘bigfoot’, says Health Minister

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With Guyana getting ready to roll out a mass administration of the second dose of filaria medication in the coming days, Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony is calling for public buy-in.

“This is our chance to eliminate this disease,” he said on Tuesday, reminding that the first dose was given to Guyanese in another mass administration exercise two years ago.

Dr Anthony said although the government was able to accomplish its target during that period, he wants to appeal for the public’s cooperation.

“If we are successful in getting 70 per cent of persons to take the tables, then we can eliminate filaria from Guyana, a problem we have had for many years.”

“I have seen persons with bigfoot, as we call it, and those persons suffer from filaria. We can avoid this if we eliminate this disease. This is our chance to do so. So, I am asking the public to cooperate with persons distributing the pills and take the tables to eliminate filaria once and for all,” the Health Minister pleaded.

Dr Anthony said if this time elapses and persons do not take the second dose of the medication, then the programme will have to restart.

“If we miss this now then we will have to restart the programme, as if we are starting a new one and we did a lot of work with administering the first dose. We have done well and achieved the targets we set in the first dose. I am confident we will reach the second dose target and be declared filaria free,” he added.

There will be a soft launch of the programme on February 12 after which the distribution will commence on February 14 in Regions Three and Four, which will last for about two weeks with enough persons to go from house to house and conduct the distribution.

By March 1 to March 14, the distribution will be conducted in Regions Six and 10.

All other regions will commence on March 18.

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