17 September 2012

Sierra Leone: 'Bigfut' Campaign Launched

The ministry of health and sanitation in collaboration with its health partners such as Helen Keller International, WHO, UNICEF and USAID, yesterday launched the campaign against Lymphatic Filariasis commonly known as elephantiasis or 'bigfut' in the country.

The occasion was organized by the Neglected Tropical Disease Control Program (NTDCP) through the district health management team in the Western Area. As part of the campaign, medicines will be distributed freely to everyone above the age of 5 years from September 13th to 17th with support from USAID through

Helen Keller International organization. Speaking on Tuesday at a press orientation held at the ministry of health's Youyi building office in Freetown, NTDCP program manager, Dr. Santigie Sesay, said this year's vaccination targets 1.3 million people in the country with free Ivermectin (Mectizan) and Albendazole treatment.

"The treatment is not for sick or elderly people, pregnant women and women who gave birth less than 2 weeks," Dr. Sesay said adding that the preventive treatment is the administration of the drugs to all members of the population and not just for those known to be infected or those showing signs of elephantiasis.

In his statement, Helen Keller's senior grant writer, Daniel Fiedler, said his organization is committed to supporting the government to fight against elephantiasis and all other health related programs. "We are going to continue supporting the government of Sierra Leone to achieve its goals," he said.

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