Lymphatic filariasis has been eliminated in 16 countries, monitoring indicates

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 10 December 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a2944
  1. Malcolm Dean
  1. 1London

    Lymphatic filariasis has probably been eliminated in 16 countries, including 12 in the Pacific, since an eradication drive was launched 10 years ago.

    The campaign, a private-public partnership involving two multinational drug companies, the World Health Organization, and many national governments, has treated 570 million people in 48 countries.

    Some 21 Pacific countries—such as the Solomon Islands, Tonga, and American Samoa—with a population totalling seven million people have completed the five annual cycles needed to get rid of the disease, and monitoring sites indicate that at least two thirds of these countries will be entirely free of the disease and that mopping-up exercises should succeed in the others.

    Several areas or countries in other regions have also completed the five annual cycles. Four are believed to be free of the disease: Zanzibar, Sri Lanka, Togo, and the Comoros Islands. Egypt, where the disease flourished 4000 years ago, has begun …

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