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PIA Press Release

November is National Filariasis Awareness Month

Davao City (26 November) -- This November, the Coalition for the Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis Philippines (CELF-Philippines) and the Department of Health (DOH) observe the National Filariasis Awareness Month in 43 endemic provinces in the Philippines.

The event highlights the Mass Drug Administration (MDA) strategy of the National Filariasis Elimination Program (NFEP) that serves to eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) in the Philippines by 2015.

LF is considered as one of six eradicable diseases worldwide. It is a chronic, debilitating and disfiguring disease caused by parasitic worms that are transmitted by mosquitoes. In the Philippines, more than 650,000 Filipinos suffer from LF and 23.5 million people are at risk.

CELF-Philippines, in support of the NFEP, reminded those who live in endemic areas to be responsible by submitting to MDA of a two-drug combination, Albendazole and Diethlycarbamazine (DEC), which are administered free-of-charge by local health units in all endemic provinces. This strategy will ensure the elimination of this neglected but threatening tropical disease.

CELF?Philippines is a non-stock, non-profit organization that shares the vision of DOH for a Filariasis-Free Philippines by 2015. Its mission is to eliminate filariasis as a public health problem through collaboration among government and private sectors towards an 85% MDA coverage for five years. It serves as a liaison among groups that are involved or interested in the elimination of LF.

The coalition will promote unity, understanding, teamwork, cooperation, fund raising and pooling of resources for NFEP and will serve as a channel for disseminating appropriate information and advocacy on the program. Finally, the coalition will serve as a forum to generate recommendations for LF prevention, diagnosis and management of morbidity, monitoring, evaluation and research. (CELF Phils/DOH) [top]

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