Country-Wide Filariasis Treatment Implemented

Filariasis is an ongoing war that must be finished- Dr. William Adu-Krow

DPI, Guyana, Friday, March 29, 2019

The Ministry of Public Health now has enough resources to eliminate Filariasis countrywide. This was confirmed at a joint press conference on March 28, by the Ministry of Public Health and the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO).

Worldwide we know Lymphatic Filariasis is costing countries and people a lot. And if all of that can be prevented, why not? So, because we care, we are sharing, we are going to be carrying our preventative measures to all ten regions of Guyana, and for this, we are going to be looking for all the support we can get,” Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr. Karen Cummings said.

In the past three years, Regions Three, Four, Five and Ten were the only regions in Guyana that were provided with filariasis treatment.

This only provided Guyana with an 85 percent coverage. The Ministry of Public Health has been administering two treatments to Guyanese. The drugs are Albendazole and Diethylcarbamazine.

Dr. Karen Campbell noted that since the goal is to eliminate filariasis permanently by 2020, the Health officials will be implementing a triple-drug therapy which will include 200kg of Ivermectin.  This triple treatment will be implemented countrywide.

Suriname, Costa Rica and Trinidad and Tobago are some of the countries which have managed to achieve elimination from the list of endemic lymphatic filariasis.

The USAID, Civil Defense Commission and The Pan American Health Organization have been partnering with the Health Ministry for the past two years to eliminate this scourge.

Pan American Health Organization representative, Dr. William Adu-Krow, said that apart from these partners, the government has been a tremendous support in this initiative.  He urged the Guyanese public to be consistent with their intake of the filariasis prevention drugs.

He stressed that preventing filariasis is an ongoing war that must be finished.

Alleya Hamilton.

Images: Jules Gibson.