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October 17, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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Fiji's Ministry of Health in conjunction with the World Health Organization (WHO) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) today launched a week long campaign against Lymphatic Filariasis.

This year’s campaign has been named "Fiji Free Filarasis Weekend" and will commence on 26th of this month and end on the 28th.

The campaign was launched by Minister for Health, Dr Neil Sharma who in his opening speech said the mass drug administration campaign against the serious diseases will occur again this year.

“The goal of the anticipated campaign is to free people of Fiji from suffering the consequences of the diseases and in effect to eliminate lymphatic filariasis from in this country."

"The Filariasis Free Weekend is a new strategy drawn by the Ministry to help people fight with these diseases”, Sharma said.

“The strategy implies that the distribution of tablets will occur on a identified Saturday and Sunday and voluntary people will move around in distributing the tablets to households."

"All treatment will be carefully supervised by the volunteer and the health staff’s”    

Sharma said after coming through surveys it was found communities are still in a limp from this disease.

“The authorities at the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization estimated that one in ten persons in our country are still infected with filariasis in high risk localities."

"As such we still have yet to achieve the less than one per cent prevalence requirements to declare elimination of filariasis”

"Further steps also will be taken to assist the community in the best interest to keep the country free from more infection."

"Our aim for this year is to primarily the engine of this new strategy, will be mobilized by the way of proactive participation from the general public."

"We are expecting to be very vigilant and visible during the week long campaign to help the people getting the treatment that they need," he concluded.

By Sunil Sharma

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