Survey ongoing to determine if Guyana is filaria-free

Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony

A Lymphatic Filariasis (Filaria) survey is currently being conducted in various parts of the country to determine whether the disease is still existing within the country.

This announcement was made during the daily Covid-19 update by Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony on Thursday.

“Filaria elimination, it’s a process so we were required to do the mass drug administration and we have completed those two cycles in the endemic areas for filaria. Having completed that, now to ensure that we don’t have filaria we now have to go back to those communities, take samples of people and do certain tests to see whether or not the parasites still remain in the population.”

Minister Anthony explained that a similar survey will occur during the course of next year, and that the data gathered from these surveys will be used by the World Health Organisation to analyse the status of filaria in the country.

“So currently we are engaged in doing those testing, so we have teams going out to the regions where we have done mass drug administration and once that is completed and the results are known, based on those results then the WHO would use it to make a decision on whether or not they can declare us to be filaria free.”

The final distribution exercise in the Mass Drug Administration (MDA) programme for the filaria pill took place in February 2020. The programme was started in Guyana since October 2019.