Guyana attended 10th Meeting of the GAELF in New Delhi, India

GEORGETOWN, MOPH – GUYANA wants increasing collaboration with its global partners in vector bionomics research, vector control strategies and acceptability of the Mass Drug Administration (MDA) exercise Minister within the Ministry of Public Health Dr Karen Cummings told the just-concluded 10th meeting of the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GAELF) in New Delhi, India.

“It is important to note that the Government of Guyana sees the elimination of lymphatic Filariasis as a national, regional and global priority and pledges its continued support to the successful implementation of this exercise,” Cummings told the GAELF forum.

Cummings emphasized that “Guyana is interested in continuing to work with partners at the regional and international levels to gain further support as it strives to achieve elimination of lymphatic filariasis. Areas for collaboration include research on vector bionomics, vector control strategies, as well as acceptability of the mass drug administration exercise,” Minister Cummings further stated.

The three-day meeting was held under the theme ‘Celebrating progress towards elimination: Voices from the field on overcoming programme challenges’ and Director of Vector Control Services, Dr Horace Cox and National Supervisor for the Lymphatic Filariasis Elimination Campaign in Guyana, Dr. Allena Hercules also represented Guyana.

Cummings was amongst several high-level officials who spoke during the opening ceremony and she highlighted Guyana’s progress in the Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis and the country’s commitment to helping eliminate the disease as a global health problem by 2020

Dr. Cox in his presentation outlined the challenges and the respective solutions that Guyana undertook to achieve its first successful Mass Drug Administration (MDA) in 2017.

Some of the solutions, Cox said included use of the Tool for Integrated Planning and Costing (TIPAC); introduction of micro-planning at the level of health centres; and implementation of new service delivery strategies.

Participants at the 10th GAELF were also involved in various working group sessions which covered, inter alia, aspects of LF elimination such as, best practices in MDA; Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E); Morbidity Management; and Disability Prevention.

Future focus on LF elimination in Guyana will target ending the spread of infection through large-scale annual treatment vulnerable groups in the 10 Administrative Regions and alleviating the suffering caused by lymphatic Filariasis by providing patients with the recommended basic package of care.