Filariasis mass treatment in Capiz kicks off November 17

by A. Lumaque

Roxas City – The Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) will launch the massive treatment on filariasis on November 17 at the Provincial Capitol here to officially start the provincewide campaign to eliminate the disease.

The activity is in support to President Gloria Macapagal – Arroyo’s Executive Order No. 369 which declared the month of November as mass treatment period for filariasis in established endemic areas.

“Capiz was declared by the Department of Health (DOH) as the 41st endemic province in the country early this year,” said Provincial Health Officer II Jarvis O. Punsalan.

Punsalan added that the administration of free mass drug treatment will cover Capisnon aged 2 years and older.

“A house to house campaign will be done to reach out to every household,” he streesed, adding that the tablets provided by the DOH are now ready at the Rural Health Unit (RHU) level.

In November 2008, the DOH and provincial health authorities have conducted a selective treatment of 41 filariasis victims from the various barangays of Tapaz as among the succeeding actions following the first ever documented filariasis cases in the province during a September 2008 survey.

A province-wide random deformity survey was also taken by the PHO in coordination with the RHUs to identify and document possible filariasis cases in other towns.

Filariasis is a disease caused by worms transmitted to humans through bites of infected female mosquitoes. It may manifest as recurrent fever, enlarged lymph nodes, and urine with color similar to rice washing.

Provincial health authorities said that the disease can lead to enlargement of the thigh, leg, breast or scrotum if it remains untreated.

Taking the medicines will stop the progression of the disease and prevent its transmission to others.  (PIA)

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