Sightsavers Reports

Elimination of lymphatic filariasis in west African urban areas: is implementation of mass drug administration necessary?

This Personal View examines the challenges and the relevance of mass drug administration in urban areas. The authors suggest that mass drug administration might not be essential to interrupt transmission of lymphatic filariasis in urban areas in west Africa. Evidence shows that transmission levels are low and that effective mass drug distribution is difficult to implement, with assessments suggesting that specific control measures against filariasis in such dynamic settings is not an effective use of limited resources. Instead, the authors recommend that: 1) individuals who have clinical disease or who test positive for Wucheria bancrofti infection in surveillance activities should be offered antifilarial drugs through a passive surveillance approach, as well as morbidity management for their needs; 2) more precise studies are done, so that mass drug administration in urban areas is considered if sustainable transmission is found to be ongoing.

A woman sits on a bench in front of a pale green wall. She is smiling at the camera and has one of her legs out. She has visibile signs of lymphatic filariasis, a neglected tropical disease that makes the limbs swell.
Journal Title
Date published
The Lancet Global Health
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Read the full study on PubMed
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