VOA News reports on "a new public health strategy, tested in Nigeria," which is "raising hopes" that the tropical disease known as lymphatic filariasis (LF), or elephantiasis, can be eliminated. "The Nigeria Ministry of Health and the Carter Center, a philanthropic research institute established by former US. President Jimmy Carter, announced recently that they have successfully stopped the transmission of LF" in the test area near the northern Nigerian city of Jos, the news service notes. Adel Egege, director of the Carter Center's LF prevention program in Jos, described its mass drug administration initiative, "giving two anti-parasitic drugs to everyone in the region, and distributing mosquito-proof bed nets to most families to prevent the nighttime insect bites," the news service writes. "The results of the pilot program have been so promising, said Egege, that the Nigerian government is planning to expand the program throughout the entire country," VOA notes, adding, "Carter Center and Nigerian health officials are hopeful that, with a nationwide campaign, LF could be gone from Nigeria within six to 10 years, sparing future generations its terrible consequences" (Graitcer, 4/5).
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.