Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Progress and impact of 20 years of a lymphatic filariasis elimination programme in South-East Asia.

International Health 2020 December 23
BACKGROUND: The South-East Asia regional programme to eliminate lymphatic filariasis (LF) was launched in 2000. This study presents the progress and impact of the programme in the region.

METHODS: Mass drug administration (MDA) and morbidity management data were accessed from the WHO preventive chemotherapy databank. The status of the programme in the nine South-East Asia countries was reviewed and progress was assessed. The impact of the programme on LF disease burden was estimated on the basis of the effectiveness of the MDA drugs against microfilaraemia and chronic disease.

RESULTS: Under the MDA programme, 8.1 billion treatments were delivered in nine countries and 5.7 billion treatments were consumed by the target population during 2001-2018. Three of nine countries eliminated LF. Bangladesh is poised to reach its elimination goal by 2021. In the other five countries, 38-76% of intervention units completed intervention and surveillance is in progress. The MDA programme prevented or cured 74.9 million infections, equivalent to an 84.2% reduction. Close to 1 million lymphoedema patients and 0.5 million hydrocele patients were reported and are being provided with the minimum package of care.

CONCLUSIONS: The South-East Asia region's LF elimination programme reduced the burden of LF appreciably and is moving towards achieving the elimination goal in the next 8-10 y.

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