From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
MOH to launch campaign against Elephantiasis in Sierra Leone
By Bampia Bundu
Jun 1, 2010, 17:16

The Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOH&S) will on the 3rd June 2010 launch a campaign against Elephantiasis or Lymphatic Filariasisn (LF) in the Western Area of Freetown. This was revealed in a press briefing held at the Ministry of Information and Communication Conference Room, 8th Floor Youyi Building.

In his statement the Programme Manager of National Oncho/NTD Programme Mr. Santigie Sesay noted that elephantiasis/ Lymphatic Filariasisn (LF) is the second leading cause of disability worldwide and about 120 Million of people are infected and 40 Million suffer some degree of disability, adding that the diseases is transmitted from person to person by the bite of an anopheles mosquito. "The transmission usually starts in childhood, often before age five and its progresses to about 10-20 years from infection.

Programme Manager of National Oncho/NTD Programme Mr. Santigie Sesay addressing the press

He said our health centres and hospitals have often lacked the facility to test for the early stages of the disease. He said ICT blood test can show if a person has LF infection at an early age but that ICT test are only done for research purposes by World Health Organization.

He disclosed that in 2005 WHO conducted a test in Sierra Leone which showed that LF is found throughout the country, and that overall there are 23% of persons tested in the country that had evidence of LF infection. He used this opportunity to encourage the public to ensure that they take the treatment as it will start from the 3rd to 7th June this year. But he cautioned that children below five years, suckling mothers and pregnant women should not take the treatment as it is not good for them.

Further statement was made by a representative from Helen Keller International Mr. Mustapha Sesay, while the meeting was chaired by the Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Madam Saadata Sesay.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.