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PIA Press Release

DOH 8 conducts MDA to eradicate filariasis in Eastern Visayas

Tacloban City (November 1) -- In line with the Filariasis Awareness Month in November, the Department of Health Region 8 is devoting the whole month for the conduct of Mass Drug Administration (MDA).

The Mass Drug Administration is the Department of Health's major strategy to eliminate the transmission of lymphatic filariasis in provinces in the Region where it is considered as endemic.

Director Eduardo Gonzaga of the Department of Health Region 8 said that MDA is giving the combination drugs to all population ages two years and above in all the established endemic area whether infected or non-infected with filariasis.

Director Gonzaga said that Region 8 is the first region that was declared by the National Filariasis Elimination Program as filariasis free in the Philippines with Southern Leyte as the first filariasis free province while Biliran has been declared as the third province to be free from said disease.

However, the DOH official said that there are however four more provinces in the Region that have endemic filariasis cases. These are Samar, Eastern Samar, Northern Samar and Leyte.

The four provinces were declared as endemic because during the conduct of baseline survey, they had more than one percent of microfilaria rate patients.

In Leyte province, the two municipalities with high number of filariasis cases are Mahaplag and Hindang.

The Department of Health will give free medicines for those who are infected with microfilaria. These include diethylcarbamazine nitrate and Albendazole.

It is the local government that will shoulder the expenses for medicines which the patients will drink when they feel the side effects of taking the medicines.

The DOH is appealing to all local chief executives to support the campaign to make the Region filariasis-free. (PIA 8) [top]

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