Filariasis control: a Post-Treatment Surveillance (PTS) survey soon to be launched in 6 regions of Cameroon

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The National Program for the Control of Onchocerciasis and Filariasis in Cameroon, headed by Dr. Mpaba Minkat Théophile, has announced the launch of a Post-Treatment Surveillance (PTS) survey in six regions of the country from Monday May 13, 2024. This survey aims to assess the impact of previous treatments against Lymphatic Filariasis in selected health districts in Adamaoua, Centre, East, Far North, North West and South West.

Lymphatic filariasis, also known as elephantiasis, is a parasitic disease caused by mosquito-borne filarial worms. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is one of the world’s leading causes of disability and incapacity, affecting over 120 million people in 72 countries. Symptoms include painful swelling of the limbs, genitals and breasts, as well as recurrent infections.

Dr. Mpaba Minkat Théophile stressed the importance of this survey in assessing the effectiveness of past treatments and determining whether transmission of Lymphatic Filariasis has been interrupted. “This survey is a crucial step in our fight against Lymphatic Filariasis. By assessing the impact of past treatments, we will be able to adapt our strategies and strengthen our efforts to eliminate this debilitating disease,” he said.

The survey will focus on children aged 5 to 9, in targeted health districts, to estimate seroprevalences of the Lymphatic Filariasis antigen. The results of these surveys will make it possible to determine whether transmission of Lymphatic Filariasis has been interrupted after the treatments stopped in 2017.

The survey will be carried out using two strategies: the school-based strategy in the Centre and East regions, and the community-based strategy in the other four regions. This initiative is the result of close collaboration between the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Basic Education.

“We are delighted to be working closely with the Ministry of Basic Education to carry out this survey. Together, we can raise awareness in communities, educating children and their families about the risks of Lymphatic Filariasis and ways to prevent it,” added Dr. Mpaba Minkat Théophile.

This Post-Treatment Surveillance (PTS) survey marks an important step in the fight against Lymphatic Filariasis in Cameroon. The results obtained will help guide future prevention and treatment strategies, with the ultimate aim of eliminating this crippling disease and improving the health and well-being of affected populations.

This survey is funded by Helen Keller International and Act to West from USAID.

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