The 2017 WHO Weekly Epidemiological Report (link is external)states that Thailand became the third country in the Region acknowledged to have achieved the criteria for elimination of LF as a public health problem, joining Maldives and Sri Lanka. Bangladesh continued post-MDA surveillance, passed a third TAS in 10 evaluation units and focused on scaling up MMDP. MDA was still required for 516.4 million people in 5 of the 9 endemic countries.
MDA was implemented in all endemic districts of Indonesia for the first time. All countries in the Region have scaled up MDA to all districts where warranted. Timor-Leste and Myanmar achieved not only 100% geographical coverage but also effective coverage in each IU. All endemic IUs in Myanmar have received at least 5 MDA rounds and are assessing eligibility for TAS. Nepal achieved effective coverage in 26 of 30 districts implementing MDA. With 6 additional districts passing TAS in 2017, 60% of endemic districts in Nepal no longer require MDA.
In India, 100 of 256 endemic districts have passed TAS. In 2017, India implemented MDA in 86 of 158 districts where required. Only 6 of the 33 districts where MDA was stopped in 2016 qualified for and passed TAS in 2017, which resulted in an increase of 82.1 million in the total population requiring MDA in 2017. MDA was not implemented in the remaining 28 districts or the 42 districts that failed TAS in previous years.
The total population requiring MDA in the Region has decreased by 380.3 million, representing a 42% reduction. All countries in the Region report on morbidity and make efforts to monitor the availability of recommended care by IU. The reported availability of MMDP in IUs with known patients in the Region is 63% (526 of 836).
The treatment regime in all SEARO endemic countries is albendazole plus DEC (diethylcarbamazine).
Further information on the SEARO LF programme can be found here
The South-East Asia Programme Review Group (RPRG) the body which reviews national programmes, applications for drug donations, povides technical guidance and identifies oeprational research issues is chaired by:
E: n [dot] kandun [at] yahoo [dot] com