Fight against filaria continues

― MDA Filaria Campaign launched in Reg. 3

― residents are encouraged to keep their surroundings clean

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The fight to eradicate filaria was taken to Region 3 (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) on Friday last. The campaign kicked off with a road march followed by a public rally.

The effort was a collaboration between the Mass Drug Administration (MDA) of the Ministry of Public Health and the Region 3, Health Services Programme.

The energetic march from the West Demerara Regional Hospital to the Vreed-en-Hoop Stelling saw staff from the MDA and regional administration bouncing along to jingles that focused on encouraging its listeners to take the filaria pills.

At the public rally that followed, senior members of the regional administration led the way by taking their pills first. The pills are administered based on the height of the individual and have limited to no side-effects.

Regional Health Officer, Dr. Cerdel McWatt sounded the call to be vigilant in the effort to eliminate filaria. “Make no mistake, filaria is a serious issue in our country, and we are all exposed because of the mosquitoes. It is a parasitic disease caused by an infection with roundworms of the Filarioidea type. So, taking your pills will reduce the chances of you getting filaria. Let me tell you; chronic filaria has no cure so outside of taking your pills to ensure you keep your environment clean. There must be no breeding grounds from mosquitoes in your community,” Dr. McWatt remarked.

Building on his address, the Regional Executive Officer (REO), Jennifer Ferreira-Dougall encouraged residents to work with their NDCs in keeping the surroundings clean and tidy.

“We will reduce the chances of getting filaria by not only drinking our pills but by also following the environmental codes and practices. Let us not practice blocking drains or having stagnant water around. Let us not practice squatting because when you squat you are hampering the local authorities from accessing drains which may need cleaning, and you are imposing on lands that are serving a purpose which will benefit you and your children,” REO Ferreira-Dougall noted.

Last year, Region 3 recorded a total of 74% of persons that took their pills and this year, with a greater focus on the need to take the pills, the region is hoping to surpass that figure and gain 100%.

Residents are reminded that there are no severe side-effects with drinking the pills, as slight dizziness is normal.