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Elephantiasis Vaccination: 10-Day Program To Be Launched In Last Week Of Jan.

11 January 2019

The Ministry of Health and Sports will provide Mass Drug Administration National Program with the support of World Health Organization, Eisai and GSK Pharmaceutical Companies from 22nd to 31st January across the country.

A coordination meeting on the national program was held at Department of Public Health in Yangon Region, on Friday.

Elephantiasis disease occurred in South-East Asia counties and mostly affected in nine countries including Myanmar. A National Program to Eliminate Elephantiasis Disease has been carried out through the annual mass drug administration (MDA) since the year 2000.

Assistant Director (VBDC), Department of Public Health (MHS), Dr. Aye Mon Mon Kyaw said “In Myanmar, the elephantiasis disease mostly occurs in central areas. It is mosquito-transmitted worm infection. We provided treatment 15 times in Magway Region and 10 times in Mandalay Region. We divided 3-aged groups and provided two kinds of tablets, Albendazole and DEC for providin treatment. There is not too much side affect after taking the medicine. But, under 2 years old age children, breastfeeding mom, pregnant women and elder people with chronicle illness may have side affect.”

The Department of Public Health (Yangon Region) will provide treatment to 6.4 million people from four districts of Yangon Region during 10-day period of mass drug administration programs.

Assistant Director (VBDC), Department of Public Health (MHS), Dr. Aye Mon Mon Kyaw said “We made pre survey check up to 300 people from 14 townships of Yangon Region from Nov 15 to 30 last year. We found out elephantiasis disease positive areas in some townships. This is the 6 time vaccination program in Yangon Region. We will check again elephantiasis disease under 5 to 7 age’s children in cooperation with WHO in coming July to August for eradication.”

The medical staffs are also provided with three-day training for effectively implementation of vaccination program.

Medical Staff (Grade-1), Department of Public Health (Kyauktan Tsp.), Kyaw Chit said “We need to attend 3-day training for elephantiasis disease knowledge and medicine taking to public. We need to gain public trust in vaccination and health knowledge program. We do public awareness activities before medication and explain the consequences of the disease to the public. I would like to urge the public that prevention is better than cure.” 

The elephantiasis diseases are mostly found out in 200 townships of 45 districts in Myanmar so far. The Ministry of Health and Sports is making effort for eradication of elephantiasis disease in 2020.