Guyana’s Health Ministry has begun a survey to determine if the country is free of filaria, Minister Dr Frank Anthony has disclosed.

The survey comes months after the country concluded its second round of mass drug administration. Dr Anthony has previously stated that if intake was optimal, the country stood a chance to finally eliminate the disease from Guyana for good.

“Filaria elimination, it’s a process so we were required to do the mass drug administration and we have completed those two cycles in the endemic areas for filaria. Having completed that, now to ensure that we don’t have filaria we now have to go back to those communities, take samples of people and do certain tests to see whether or not the parasites still remain in the population.”

Minister Anthony explained that a similar survey will occur during next year, and that the data gathered from these surveys will be used by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to analyse the status of filaria in the country.

“So currently we are engaged in doing those testing, so we have teams going out to the regions where we have done mass drug administration and once that is completed and the results are known, based on those results then the WHO would use it to make a decision on whether or not they can declare us to be filaria free.”

The final distribution exercise in the Mass Drug Administration (MDA) programme for the filaria pill took place in February 2020. The programme was started in Guyana since October 2019.


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