Govt to roll out triple-drug therapy to tackle filaria

first_imgAs it works towards achieving its target of eliminating Lymphatic Filariasis, the Public Health Ministry will be rolling out its 2019 Mass Drug Administration (MDA) exercise later this month in several regions, with an increase in the drug therapy.This is according to Director of the Vector Control Service Unit at the Public Health Ministry, Dr Horace Cox, at a media sensitisation session on Tuesday.He explained that previously, the MDA exercise was focused mostly in Regions Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), Four (Demerara-Mahaica), Five (Mahaica-Berbice) and 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice), based on a National Prevalence Survey done in 2001, which identified them as highly endemic.“Our geographical coverage was not a hundred per cent, rather it was at 44 per cent and as a result, in order for us to achieve elimination… we need to ensure that we achieve 100 per cent geographical coverage,” he noted.Director of VCS, Dr Horace CoxTo this end, a remapping survey conducted in Regions One (Barima-Waini), Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), Seven (Mazaruni-Cuyuni), Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) and Nine (Upper Takatu-Essequibo) last year highlighted some of these regions as endemic areas. This was determined based on a criterion which looks at geographical zones with two per cent prevalence or more as endemic and thus, in need of an MDA exercise implementation.According to Dr Cox, not all the regions passed that threshold and in some cases, not the entire region is in need of treatment.As such, the MDA exercise in Region One will be focused on the Moruca sub-region and Santa Rosa, while in Region Seven, it will be done in the Lower Mazaruni area as well as Bartica and surrounding areas.However, Regions Two and Six will see drug therapy being administered throughout the region. Additionally, Regions Eight and Nine were excluded completely from the MDA campaign based on results obtained.“So what we’re seeing here is more or less coastal distribution of Lymphatic Filariasis cases in Guyana,” he posited.The 2019 MDA exercise will be rolled out later this month, according to the VCS Director.However, there will be an adjustment to the treatment during this year’s campaign, which saw a shift from a two-pill regiment to three pills, MDA-IDA (Ivermectin, Diethylcarbamazine and Albendazole). The use of this triple-drug therapy was a recommendation from the World Health Organisation (WHO).According to Cox, it has been found that adding Ivermectin to the existing regimen, DA – Diethylcarbamazine (DEC) and Albendazole – will increase the effectiveness of the fight against filaria by stopping transmission of the disease and eventual elimination. “Ivermectin makes our intervention more effective… and in so doing, rather than needing five successive years of adequate coverage with DEC and Albendazole, we only would need two successive adequate coverage adding Ivermectin to DEC and Albendazole. So when we access it, we save financially, we save time, we save in terms of human resources efforts and there is a chance of diminishing our risk of missing our mark because if we continue with DEC and Albendazole and we make it year four and miss a year, then we have to start all again for another five years,” he explained.Furthermore, the staff distributing pills will now be using a “doze pole” to measure the dosage of individual persons based on their heights. The table or ruler-like object will display the dosage for each height range.These changes are established norms, which, as Dr Cox pointed out, the Public Health Ministry in collaboration with technical partners are using to not only ensure Guyanese benefit is maximised but also achieve filaria elimination in 2020 as set out in its Health Target.Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) also called “Filaria” or “Big foot” is a mosquito (vector)-borne disease spread through the bite of a mosquito (Culex) which deposits tiny worms called microfilaria in the bloodstream. These worms travel to the lymphatic system where they live for years and mature into adult worms, causing damage, leading to extreme swelling of the breasts, arms, legs or scrotum.While there is no cure for LF, adequate management could result in the reduction of swelling.However, persons living in endemic areas can prevent filaria with the use of MDA-IDA or triple-drug therapy.It is reported that 97 per cent of people given IDA had no larvae after one year, compared to 34 per cent of people given the previous two-pill treatment. It is believed that IDA kills or permanently sterilises adult worms.Moreover, the use of Ivermectin has additional benefits in that it is effective against scabies and lice as well.last_img read more

Overlay is crazy

first_imgRe “Overlay is the right way to go for new Valley area code” (Our Opinions, Oct. 25): The editors got it wrong this time. In the past, when an area code is split, it was split geographically. Every area code in SoCal is by geography. Splitting the Valley is most logical thing to do. It doesn’t make sense to have to dial 10 digits to call your neighbor or have to dial 4 extra numbers if you don’t have to. Overlay is just another example of NIMBYism or NIMACism. If you’re wondering, I don’t mind switching to the 747 area code. – Ngan Adams AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Burbank Boston – Phooey! So the Red Sox have the best home team record in baseball. Why, you ask? Because they have an (unfair) advantage over the visitors because they play in a jai-alai palace instead of a ball park. Balls bouncing off the monster. No doubles defense. Bullpen banging on the walls. Give Manny a big “scooper.” This place should be condemned and torn down. But no! The “Bastan” fans go there to worship in this obsolete “house of horrors.” Ever wonder why New Yorkers can’t stand the Sox? Now you get the idea. – Thomas Wierzbicki Van Nuys PIOs work hard Re “Last P.R. hero” (Our Opinions, Oct. 26): Your Friday editorial regarding public-information officers took a “broad brush” approach to communications during a disaster and does not recognize the hard work performed by PIOs, especially in the wake of the recent fires. Here in Santa Clarita, our L.A. County fire and sheriff PIOs worked day and night, hand in hand with the city of Santa Clarita PIO to provide verified, up-to-date information to our residents around the clock. Our city Web site ( was updated minute by minute, a bulletin board was used on our local cable channel and we even set up a hotline for residents to call, which was utilized 6.4 times per minute Monday. The first priority was communicating with our residents, helping them through the disaster, not providing photo opportunities for our elected officials. – Gail Ortiz Communications Division manager/PIO City of Santa Clarita Chimneys survive Once again I am looking at photos of homes destroyed by the fires. Once again, the only surviving structures seem to be the chimneys, standing like obelisks in a smoldering landscape. Why can’t homes be built like chimneys, or am I missing something here? – Ann Harootyan Van Nuys Phone-users tax Re “Now we know” (Your Opinions, Oct. 22): George Timko is not the only one fuming about the corruption in L.A. city government. We do not need a telephone-users tax put on the ballot. We could make up the $270million just by taking away all the perks city officials get, letting them drive their own cars, paying for their cell phones just as we the taxpayers do, freezing their salaries, reducing the staffs that each council member has, getting rid of the assistant city attorneys because anytime there is a lawsuit they have to hire outside help and make a stipulation for city employees when hired that they can’t sue the city if they are fired. And put an end or cap to the outrageous lawsuits brought on by L.A. city firefighters who couldn’t take the heat. – Marianne Castro Lawson Granada Hills Jewishness Re “They are Christians” (Your Opinions, Oct. 24): Richard Sharfman has in a few brief sentences casually disregarded centuries of philosophical debate about “what is a Jew.” The answer depends on who you ask. Hitler considered Jews a race. I have known and been friends with several Jews and none of them believed that they were defined by their religion. Nor are they a nation. Some consider themselves a tribe or a clan. In the Bible, they are referred to as a tribe. According to Sharfman, anyone in the world who believes in and practices Judaism is a Jew and those who don’t, aren’t. That is a simplistic view to a very complex and as-yet unanswered question. – Leonard E. McGinnis Granada Hills Where there’s a will The administration should finance the health bill the same way it finances its war in Iraq. – Chuck Crawford Newhall160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more