Sri Lanka, Maldives free of elephantiasis- WHO

Sri Lanka and Maldives have eliminated elephantiasis, also called lymphatic filariasis (LF), according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The WHO termed LF a disease “that was crippling people for decades, forcing them to lead a life of stigma, discrimination and poverty.”

A statement hosted on the website of the WHO’s regional office for South-East Asia said the success in Maldives and Sri Lanka followed intensified mosquito control efforts; treatment of the infected population, disability prevention and control; strengthening of surveillance; and closely monitoring and evaluating these efforts which together helped eliminate LF as a public health problem.

“The achievement by Maldives and Sri Lanka demonstrates the resolve of these countries and the Region as a whole to eliminate all neglected tropical diseases [NTD], which have no reason to continue and mar the lives of people,” Poonam Khretrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region, said.

“Eliminating NTDs is also critical to sustainable development goals which emphasises on ‘no one being left behind,’” the WHO release added.(The Hindu)

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