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Health News of Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Source: GNA

Lymphatic Filariasis widespread in Sunyani Municipal and Sunyani West District

Lymphatic Filariasis is recording worrying and disturbing trends in the Sunyani Municipality and Sunyani West District, Dr Benjamin Kofi Marfo, the Programme Manager of the Neglected Tropical Disease (NTDs) said on Tuesday.

He said new infections are being recorded in the two districts which were among the 15 endemic GHS“hotspot districts” declared for the Lymphatic Filariasis disease in the country.

The disease is also common in Nandom, Bole and Lawra, a situation which is impeding Ghana’s efforts to eradicate NTDs by 2020 as required by the World Health Organization.

Dr Marfo was speaking about the national situation on the NTDs at the 2019 launch of the Mass Drug Administration (MDA) held in Sunyani. It was on the theme “‘Improving MDA in all endemic districts”.

Dr Marfo said lymphatic filariasis was spread by mosquitoes and advised people in the endemic areas to sleep under insecticide treated nets to avoid infection.

He emphasized that the GHS was determined to eradicate the NTDs at least by 2025, and called for concerted efforts among all stakeholders in the health sector to achieve the target.

Dr Marfo expressed concern of apathy on the part of community drug distributors or volunteers due to lack of motivation, weak monitoring and supervision and insecurity during field visits, and urged district assemblies to support and motivate the volunteers to do more in the MDA.

The NTDs are group of 20 infections and parasitic disease, which affect over a billion people worldwide and most of them live in extreme poverty.

Common diseases in Ghana are Elephantiasis, Lymphatic Filiarisis, Yaws, Bilharzia, Buruli Ulcer, Leprosy, Intestinal Worms and Sleeping Sickness. But, last year the country made a significant achievement and eradicated trachoma, which was endemic in Upper West and Northern Regions.