363,932 persons inoculated against filaria 

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Minister of Health, Hon. Dr Frank Anthony at the official launch of the campaign in February 2021. ( DPI Photo )

Some 363,932 persons across several regions have so far taken their tablets to eliminate filariasis in Guyana.

This was disclosed by Minister of Health, Hon. Dr Frank Anthony during the daily COVID-19 update on Monday. The final distribution exercise of the mass drug administration (MDA) programme to eliminate filariasis was launched in Region Four followed by Regions Three, Ten and Six. The exercise was launched in Regions Two, Seven, Five and One at the weekend. “Region One is going to be very strong. The last time they had such a campaign, they were able to get at least 74 per cent of the people taking the medication, and we hope that they can do the same or even be better this time around,” Dr. Anthony said.

The Minister also said the overall response to the campaign has been positive. On February 12 and 13, the Ministry launched the distribution exercise of the final dose of medication in National Elimination Campaign of Lymphatic Filariasis in Guyana. The teams were given two weeks to complete the distribution in each region. The programme is expected to conclude by May.

Over the last year, some 1,400 pill distributors, 170 field officers, 20 regional coordinators and eight national supervisors were trained to conduct the exercise. The MDA programme to suppress filaria in Guyana started in October 2019.  Once 70 per cent of the population has been covered, Guyana would be eligible for certification from the WHO that filaria has been eliminated here.  This last lap of the distribution is being done in compliance with the gazetted COVID-19 measures. (DPI)

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