-Lindeners were urged at official launch of MDA 2021
Residents of Region 10 were urged to participate in the Mass Drug Administration (MDA) campaign, which was launched on Friday and saw several regional officials and community leaders being the first to be administered the filaria pills. The campaign, which is expected to last two weeks, will be rolled out on Monday and will see trained pill distributers visiting homes, offices, schools and other public places to administer pills to the mass population.
At the launch, residents were urged to participate in the campaign and to encourage their friends and family members to take the pills as well, since it is vital to the elimination of lymphatic filariasis out of Guyana, following this final round of MDA.
Among those giving the encouragement were Regional Chairman, Deron Adams; Deputy Mayor, Wainwright Bethune; PAHO/WHO representative, Dr. Jean Seme Fils Alexandre and Region 10 Regional Health Officer, Dr. Gregory Harris.
Medical Superintendent of the Linden Hospital Complex, Dr. Joseph London, implored the residents of Region 10 to lead in the campaign, as they lead in all several other areas. Leading means that Region 10 must record the highest percentage garnered in terms of reaching the target, since the region was lagging behind in 2019, during the first round of the campaign. The target percentage this year is 80 per cent. He alluded to the region being an endemic region, which means the residents are more prone to being infected.
Deputy Mayor of Linden Wainwright Bethune urged residents to dispel the myths and listen to the facts coming from health professionals. After taking his pills for the second time, Bethune endorsed the campaign and further urged residents to participate fully. Similar endorsements were given by Regional Chairman Deron Adams and Regional Health Officer Gregory Harris.
PAHO Representative Dr. Alexandre, called on Region 10 to make a difference and to play the role in eliminating filaria once and for all. “If we can do it in Region 10, we can do it in all of Guyana. We expect Region 10 to lead the way in this second round of IDA,” he said.
The Triple Drug Regimen is called IDA and includes the drugs Diethylcarbamazine (DEC) Albendazole and Ivermectin. It aims to root out lymphatic filariasis from Guyana, thus removing its name as one of the two remaining countries in the Americas, still haunted by the disabling and disfiguring neglected tropical disease.
Scientific evidence has proven, that adding Ivermectin to the two-drug combination that was previously done, the microfilaria is cleared more effectively from the blood. The dosage of the drug will be given according to the height of the consumer and the Pill distributors will ascertain this with the use of a dose pole (a measuring ruler).
An infected person can carry the parasite for more than 20 years, before experiencing any form of swelling to their tissues, when it will be already too late.