The Washington Post reports on Haiti's efforts to fight lymphatic filariasis, a parasitic mosquito-borne disease that can cause elephantiasis and is present in 80 percent of the country. Haiti's health ministry is working to reach the country's 10 million people with "mass drug administration" to prevent the disease, according to the newspaper, which notes IMA World Health, RTI International, and the University of Notre Dame are providing advice and a foundation associated with Abbott Laboratories is supplying salaries. "After years of mass drug administrations, nine countries -- Burundi, Cape Verde, Costa Rica, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, the Solomon Islands, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago -- were declared free of lymphatic filariasis in 2011 by the World Health Organization. Haiti hopes to join them," the Washington Post writes. In a separate article, the newspaper examines how beliefs in voodoo sometimes hamper care for people with elephantiasis, and it provides a fact sheet on the infection and other neglected tropical diseases, as well as a photographic slideshow (Brown, 9/30).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.