Gov’t launches campaign to eliminate filaria in Regions Three, Four

The government, through the Ministry of Health, has launched an aggressive campaign that is aimed at eradicating Filaria, particularly in Regions Three and Four.

The Lymphatic Filariasis Elimination Campaign (LFEC) commenced on Friday at Carmel Secondary School in Charlestown, Georgetown, targeting the last remaining regions where the disease prevalence exceeds the national cut-off rate of one per cent.

Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony speaking at the launching of the Lymphatic Filariasis Elimination Campaign at the Carmel Secondary School

While delivering his remarks, Minister of Health Dr Frank Anthony explained that the latest survey indicated that the two focal regions had a disease prevalence exceeding the one per cent threshold.

“Anything above that one per cent we would want to go back and ensure that we reduce it….out of an abundance of caution, what we decided to do is to go back [to Regions Three and Four] …and do both of these regions,” Minister Anthony disclosed.  

Over the next two years, the ministry will work intensively to eradicate the disease within these two regions.

Some of the pills that will be used to eradicate Filaria

To achieve this goal, the ministry, in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO), has trained 700 pill distributors. These distributors will venture into communities to assist in the Mass Drug Administration (MDA) of Filaria pills.

Dr Anthony urged these administrators to take their time and explain to patients the benefits of the pill and how it aids in the country’s elimination campaign.

We have to walk to every house, to every street and we have to talk to people. And if they don’t understand the rationale…we have to spend some time to explain to them what it is and how it helps the country,” the health minister emphasised.

Meanwhile, the Coordinator of the campaign, Dr Annastacia Sampson, encouraged the public to visit the various locations and cooperate with the pill distributors.

Coordinator of the campaign, Dr Annastacia Sampson at the launching on Friday

“Other key intervention sites include schools, health centres, workplaces, as well as very populated areas such as marketplaces,” Dr Sampson noted.

Regional Health Officers (RHOs) for Regions Three and Four, Dr Erica Forte and Dr Gavinash Persaud, asserted that the pill is safe and effective.

Before the government’s robust drive to eradicate Filaria, Regions Seven, Eight, and Nine were considered partial epidemic regions, while Regions Two to Six and Ten were classified as epidemic regions.  The only region not classified as an epidemic area was Region One

COVID-19 Notice: Due to the pandemic some consular services will be conducted by registered mail until further notice. Learn more