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DoH-Calabarzon declares Quezon Province free of filariasis disease

Department of Health–Calabarzon has declared the province of Quezon as “filaria free” during the Regional Awarding for National Filariasis Elimination Program held at the Quezon Convention Center in Lucena City, Quezon.

Quezon Province Gov. David C. Suarez (center) receives a facsimile check for P1 million from the Department of Health, represented by Assistant Secretary Dr. Maria Francia Laxamana (fourth from left), on Wednesday as the province was declared filariasis-free. Also in photo are DoH Region IV-A Director Dr. Eduardo Janario (third from left), Quezon Provincial Health officer II Dr. Grace Santiago, and Governor’s chief of staff Webster Letargo. Benjie A. Antioquia
Regional Director Eduardo C. Janairo said the health sector has achieved another victory in its fight against filariasis, also known as elephantiasis

Filariasis is a chronic parasitic infection that is caused by thread-like parasitic filarial worms, which lodge in the nodes and vessels of the lymphatic system. These worms live for about 10 years producing millions of immature microfilariae that circulate in the blood.

“Still, we have to ensure that this status will be maintained through regular conduct of orientation for filariasis detection and management and transmission assessment survey,” Janairo said.

“We will still be continuing selective treatment among individuals in areas that are found to be positive for microfilaria during the regular monitoring and surveillance,” he added.

Quezon Province, with 39 municipalities and two cities, is the 38th province in the country to achieve “filariasis free” status.

A P1 million cash grant was given to the province to be used for the sustainability of its Filaria Free health program.

Filariasis is a major parasitic infection that continues to be a public health concern. It is transmitted through a mosquito bite of an infected person. Elephantiasis is manifested by painful, disfiguring swelling in the legs and the genital organs, which is a classic sign of the late-stage disease.

The elimination of Filariasis includes a mass drug administration to residents with diethylcarbamazine (DEC), a tablet to treat the disease. The drug must be taken once a year for the next five years to eliminate the disease.

Topics: Department of Health , Calabarzon , filaria free , National Filariasis Elimination Program , Eduardo C. Janairo
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