According to the 2017 WHO Weekly Epidemiological Report MDA was still required in endemic IUs in 10 countries with a total population of 13 million. Philippines implemented MDA in the remaining 8 IUs yet to pass TAS with a total population of 7 million people and achieved effective coverage in 7 IUs. Papua New Guinea implemented a mid-term survey in New Ireland Province but was unable to treat any of the estimated 5.6 million persons living in areas requiring MDA. Malaysia implemented MDA in the last 3 remaining endemic areas of Eastern Malaysia with persistent transmission of B. malayi. Fiji, French Polynesia and Malaysia achieved effective coverage in all IUs requiring MDA.

The Lao People’s Democratic Republic implemented both MDA with effective coverage and a successful TAS in 2017, indicating that MDA is no longer required. Tuvalu conducted TAS in 2017 with unsuccessful results and planned for the first of 2 additional rounds of MDA starting in 2018.

Samoa implemented TAS in 2017 in both Savaii and Upolu with unsuccessful results, indicating continued transmission, a finding consistent with 2016 TAS results from neighbouring American Samoa. These results prompted the first binational strategic planning meeting, where the two countries renewed their commitment to a joint effort to eliminate LF transmission.

Palau, Viet Nam and Wallis and Futuna continued preparing their dossiers for official submission to WHO in 2018. Brunei Darussalam and Kiribati continued post-MDA surveillance and dossier preparation. To respond to demands from countries in the post-MDA or post-validation phase, an informal consultation on post-elimination surveillance of NTDs was held in 2017 to discuss the scope and develop plans for operationalizing post-validation surveillance of LF as proof of concept. The total population requiring MDA in the Region has decreased by 42.4 million, representing a 75% reduction.

For the 10 countries that still require MDA, no current data have been reported on the burden of LF and the availability of the recommended basic package of care. This highlights a challenge for the Region in ensuring that the two aims of GPELF are equally addressed.

The treatment regime in all SEARO endemic countries is albendazole plus DEC (diethylcarbamazine).

More information on the WPRO LF elimation programme can be found here and here.

The Western Pacific Regional Programme Review Group (RPRG), the body which reviews national programmes, applications for drug donations, provides technical guidance and identifies operational research issues is chaired by:

Xiao-Nong Zhou 
Director 
National Institute of Parasitic Diseases
Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention
207 Rui Jin Er Road, Shanghai 200025
People's Republic of China
zhouxn1 [at] chinacdc.cn

See WHO Weekly Epidemiological Report for the full detailed report

Endemic countries

  • New Caledonia
  • Niue
  • Palau
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Philippines
  • Samoa
  • Tonga
  • Tuvalu
  • Vanuatu
  • Viet Nam

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