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Government optimistic on elephantiasis elimination

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By Audrey Kapalamula:

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The Ministry of Health and Population has said the country it close to eliminating lymphatic filariasis, commonly known as elephantiasis.

Programmes Manager for Lymphatic Filariasis in the Ministry, John Chimphwanya, Sunday said the disease is almost eliminated but a final picture would emerge from a transmission assessment that rolls out today.

“From the two surveys we carried out in 2014 and 2016, it looks like the disease is almost eliminated from the country. We are still mapping cases so that we should be able to say if we have new cases or not,” he said.

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People who suffer from the disease experience severe swellings in the limbs, breast and genitalia.

The assessment will be done in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and targets standard one and two under-eight learners.

The transmission survey was conducted in 2014 and 2016 after the ministry stopped mass drug administration. The survey showed a prevalence rate of less than a percent.

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