Eliminating lymphatic filariasis in Port-au-Prince

A mass albendazole administration was successful in eliminating lymphatic filariasis in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in 71% cases.

Lymphatic filariasisis is an infection caused by worm Wuchereria bancrofti associated with lymphedema and hydrocele. It has been a large scale global problem for a long time.

The drug administration covered more than 65% of citizens, according to the report. The first mass drug administration in Port-au-Prince took place from November 2011 through 2012. 71% of persons were taking albendazole.

It’s estimated that about 120 million people all over the world are suffering from lymphatic filariasis, and Haiti was among those 4 the most endemic. WHO estimates the elimination of the disease by 2020, due to mass administration of anthelmintic drugs. By 2011, at least one round of mass drug administration of albendazole and diethylcarbamazine (Hetrazan, Lederle) had been issued to all endemic areas in Haiti except for Port-au-Prince.

The researchers evaluated coverage in Port-au-Prince by conducting a stratified, three-stage cluster-sample survey in seven strata: internally displaced person (IDP) camps in six communes comprised one stratum, and non-IDP camp households in each of the six communes comprised six strata. A total of 6,345 adults answered for themselves and/or others in the household about taking the tablets, and 71% had taken the drugs.

The researchers found that 88% of the respondents knew about the mass drug administration before it began. Only half of the people who did not hear about it in advance took the tablets, compared with 74% of people who did hear about it in advance.

The coverage demonstrates that despite substantial obstacles posed by recent natural disasters and public health emergencies, Haiti has taken an important step toward meeting the challenge of lymphatic filariasis.

The source:Mass eliminating lymphatic filariasis in Port-au-Prince, Haiti