The Ministry of Health and Population has oriented journalists on the impending survey about transmission of elephantiasis (lymphatic Filariasis) yesterday at Blue Waters Lodge in Salima.

The first and second transmission assessment surveys were done in 2014 and 2018 whose results indicated that transmission was not taking place after Mass Drug Administration (MDA) for the disease, six years before the first survey.

This year’s survey will confirm if there is still no active transmission of the disease to declare Malawi free of elephantiasis.

Dr. Stone Kabuluzi, the Director of Preventive Health Services in the Ministry of Health, told journalists to help the Ministry in dealing with misconceptions about the survey, as some people may take enumerators as blood suckers.

The survey will be done in 30 schools in each district targeting primary school children of ages between 2 to 8, from standard 1 and 2 classes, since it takes time for signs and symptoms to show up.

Just as malaria, elephantiasis starts when parasitic roundworms larvae, which are spread after anopheles mosquito bites on a person’s body, inhabit the lymphatic system and start growing causing the swellings around the affected parts.

The Ministry called for the orientation of journalists to help increase public awareness on the survey which will commence on 8 October and shall end on 4 November, 2018.

The survey will be supported by Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and World Health Organisation (WHO).

 

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