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Health authorities of the western Mozambican province of Tete on Monday launched a massive campaign for the treatment of lymphatic filariasis, commonly known as elephantiasis.
The launching ceremony took place at the Castro Teófilo Primary School, in Tete, where the provincial governor, Paulo Auade, urged the population to heed the calls of the health authorities and rush immediately to the treatment centres.
“Everyone is called to go to the treatment centres. Community leaders, religious leaders, parents and guardians should all spread the message which will allow us to reach our targets,”said the governor.
The campaign, which is taking place under the theme “Together for the Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis and Control of Schistosomiasis and Intestinal Parasites”, seeks to cover 2,188,088 people from the age of five onwards.
Auade pointed out that lymphatic filariasis is an infectious disease, transmitted through a mosquito bite, a vector that also transmits malaria, which is one of the major causes of hospitalization in Mozambique.
“We must eliminate puddles of water around our houses, because they are the breeding ground for mosquitoes. We should also use mosquito nets correctly”, said the governor, who also advised the population “not take the nets for fishing, nor use mosquito nets to cover chicken coops and barns,”.
According to Auade, people should not miss this opportunity to adhere the lymphatic filariasis treatment because it is entirely free of charge.
Speaking at the side-lines of the ceremony the head of Department of Public Health in Tete, Aléx Bertil, was unable to produce the real figures on the extent of the problem in Tete. He explained that “though the situation has not reached alarming levels is still a cause for some concern”.
The campaign, which will last five days, will also include treatment for intestinal parasites.
To this end, the Provincial Directorate of Health has created 513 teams made up by 1,722 health professionals, support staff and drivers.
Carla Mosse, head of Tete Provincial Health Directorate, called on all citizens to go to health facilities and other places for the massive treatment of lymphatic filariasis and intestinal parasites.
She explained that the campaign is part of the strategies of the Mozambican government and the World Health Organization, aiming to eradicate the disease in the country and all over the world.
Lymphatic filariasis is a painful and profoundly disfiguring disease. In communities where filariasis is transmitted, all ages are affected. While the infection may be acquired during childhood its visible manifestations may occur later in life, causing temporary or permanent disability.
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