DOH-7: Central Visayas is now free from filariasis

Kristine B. Quintas/LPM (The Freeman) - November 11, 2015 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Central Visayas is now filariasis-free.

The Department of Health-7 declared the provinces of Cebu, Bohol and Siquijor free from filaria-carrying mosquitoes after five years without manifestation of symptoms of it, in time of the filariasis awareness month observed every November pursuant to Executive Order No. 369 of 2004.

 The declaration is earlier than the projected target of DOH central office, which is 2018, to eliminate lymphatic filariasis since it established the National Filariasis Program.

 Filariasis is a parasitic disease caused by thread-like roundworms belonging to the filarioidea type spread by black-flies and Aedes mosquitoes. Filaria-carrying mosquitoes thrive in abaca and other banana plants. 

 Manifestations of the disease include elephantiasis – the severest form which is a crippling condition in which limbs or other parts of the body are swollen or enlarged.

 It will take five to 15 years before the deformity will be noticed which make it a chronic disease, said Ma. Michelle Acosta, Nurse III of DOH-7.

Acosta said there is no cure to filariasis, but medications to minimize the swelling are available.

 The program to eliminate filariasis includes a mass drug administration in affected areas.

These involve distributing albendazole and diethylcarbamazine (DEC), a tablet to treat the disease. The drug must be taken once a year for the next five years in order to eliminate the disease.

 Aside from filariasis, health officials in Central Visayas are closely monitoring possible cases of malaria which is also caused by disease-carrying mosquitoes.

 Acosta said they are also eyeing to declare the region as malaria-free.

 Acosta though said several interventions have to be put in place to meet such projection like conducting a search and destroy of breeding grounds.

 DOH-7 medical specialist Dr. Joanri Riveral advised the public to observe preventive measures like keeping the surroundings clean since areas with stagnant waters could become the breeding sites of mosquitoes-carrying the virus.

 Malaria-carrying female mosquito anopheles can be found in areas with many trees and plants, in clear streams and in slow-running water.  — (FREEMAN)

ACOSTA BOHOL AND SIQUIJOR CEBU CENTRAL VISAYAS DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH DR. JOANRI RIVERAL EXECUTIVE ORDER NO FILARIASIS MICHELLE ACOSTA NATIONAL FILARIASIS PROGRAM NBSP
Philstar
  • Latest
Latest
Recommended
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with