Towards eliminating lymphatic filariasis: progress in the South-East Asia Region
AbstractLymphatic filariasis (LF) is one of the most debilitating neglected tropical diseases known since ancient times. Caused by three species of filarial worms and transmitted by mosquitoes, LF occurs among deprived, poor populations across the world. Globally, 1.34 billion people are at-risk, and the South-East Asia region is where 63% of them reside. In the past two decades, the commitment to control and eliminate LF has gained momentum with advancement in knowledge and science of LF, with the Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GPELF) launched in 2000, led by WHO. The target is to eliminate LF by 2020, relying on two main strategies: preventive chemotherapy through mass distribution of effective drugs; and morbidity management. Nine LF-endemic countries in South-East Asia Region have adopted the strategy, completed mapping and implementing the plan. This report elaborates on the efforts done in the past decade towards eliminating LF in the Region, highlighting key components for success, challenges and the way forwards. The use of simplified tools, strengthening partnership and collaboration and integration with other programmes to control NTDs should be lessons learnt to attain the target by 2020.
World Health Organization, Regional Office for South-East Asia. (2013). Towards eliminating lymphatic filariasis: progress in the South-East Asia Region. WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia. https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/206020