Lymphatic filariasis is a parasitic disease caused by microscopic, thread-like worms. The adult worms only live in the human lymph system. The lymph system maintains the body's fluid balance and fights infections. Lymphatic filariasis is spread from person to person by mosquitoes.
People with the disease can suffer from lymphedema and elephantiasis and in men, swelling of the scrotum, called hydrocele. Lymphatic filariasis is a leading cause of permanent disability worldwide. Communities frequently shun and reject women and men disfigured by the disease. Affected people frequently are unable to work because of their disability, and this harms their families and their communities.
300 million people in the developing world are seriously ill from intestinal worms. Treatment is cheap and effective—and if successfully delivered with other public-health measures could make a substantial contribution to achieving many of the world’s Millennium development Goals (MDGs), concludes the lead editorial in this week’s issue of THE LANCET.
Millions of the world's poorest people are suffering needlessly from diseases that are being neglected because of the emphasis given to the "big 3" killers, HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria, says Professor David Molyneux of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.
A JCU public health expert is off to Dili, Timor Leste (formerly East Timor) to help the World Health Organisation address three serious tropical diseases: lymphatic filariasis, intestinal worms and yaws.
A memorandum which is to lead to the re-training of five million village doctors in rural China is to be signed on 23 May in Beijing, China. The memorandum goes back to the initiative of Terence Ryan, Professor of Dermatology at the University of Oxford, who has been instrumental in drawing it up and will participate in the signing.