Health signs deal to fight elephantiasis


A triple drug regime will be used to eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (LF), commonly known as elephantiasis, in Papua New Guinea in two to three years, according to World Health Organisation (WHO) officer in-charge Dr Paulinus Sikosana.
He said the  project signed up by the PNG and Japanese governments will use a mass drug administration (MDA) strategy to eliminate the tropical disease.
“WHO is currently working towards adopting a new triple drug regime which is based on collaborative research between the PNG Institute for Medical Research, the National Department of Health and WHO,” Sikosana said.
“The project is expected to start in March 2018 for a duration of five years, with Port Moresby, New Ireland, East New Britain and West New Britain as the project sites.”
The project will use MDA which is cost effective and proven strategy which has the potential to eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis. It was successfully piloted in New Ireland between 2014 and 2016.
Elephantiasis or LF is a mosquito-borne disease that damages the lymphatic system, leading to severe disfigurement, pain and disability. The disease is found in 62 out of Papua New Guinea’s 89 districts, with prevalence rates ranging from 0 to 70 percent in many areas.

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