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Filariasis scare

September 26, 2012 7:18 pm

The Health Ministry is expressing concern at the level of negligence shown by Fijians in the fight against lymphatic filariasis or elephantiasis.

Studies have shown that a majority of people choose not to take filariasis tablets.

According to WHO prevalent cases must be less than 1% for a country to be Lymphatic Filariasis free, but alarmingly, Litia Salusalu of the National Filariasis Unit says Fiji is far from it.

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“Way back in 2007 when we conducted our survey, we found that the central division had 16%. And this was just too high, so we’re still fighting against that 16%.”

The ministry is urging the public to take their filariasis tablets.

“We’ve seen that we have high coverage, but we were not of the compliance. If people are really taking the drugs because when we tested for the prevalence, we still found a high rate, especially in the central division.”

Every year there’s a mass drug administration campaign against elephantiasis.

This year’s theme is “Filariasis Free Weekend” from the 26th to the 28th of October.

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