Mass Drug Administration for Control of Lymphatic Filariasis campaign 2013 in Myanmar

Making video documentation on training of basic health staff for MDA by GNNTD team at Thaton, Mon State

On 9 September 2013, the Mass Drug Administration campaign for control of lymphatic filariasis for this year was launched in ten states and regions across the country. Globally, lymphatic filariasis was endemic in more than 80 countries and territories, more than 1 billion people were at risk of infection. In 1996, WHO estimated that 120 million people worldwide were affected and 40 million people were living with deformity due to lymphatic filariasis. At present nine out of eleven countries are endemic for lymphatic filariasis in Asian Countries and Myanmar is one of them. According to the mapping of lymphatic filariasis in Myanmar in 2007, 45 out of total 65 districts (69% of districts) were endemic for lymphatic filariasis and 41.8 million people are at risk among total population of 60.38 million.

This year, MDA campaign was conducted from 9th to 15th September 2013 covering 36 districts in 10 States and Regions, including Yangon, Mandalay, Mon, Kayin, Bago, Ayeyarwady and 4 others, covering total population of 35.79 million.

In 2000, Myanmar has adopted WHO collaborative Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GPELF) and Ministry of Health has developed the National Plan to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (NPELF), the strategy aimed at elimination of lymphatic filariasis in 2020 (i.e. <1/1000 population) through Mass Drug Administration (MDA) using 2 drugs: Albendazole and Diethylcarbamazine. MDA had been started in 10 townships in Magwe Region as a pilot project in 2001. Until 2011, MDA covered 22 Implementation Units (One Implementation Unit is equivalent to one district) out of 45 IU. Three Implementation Units (IUs) have been stopped after satisfying the criteria to stop MDA according to 2005 WHO guideline. Microfilaria baseline rate is 15.13% and the rate reduced to 0.79% in all sentinel sites in 2012 after 9 rounds of MDA.

Ministry of Health has conducted this year's MDA campaign successfully with the participation of volunteers: village and ward administrative members and local non-governmental organizations under the supervision of basic health staff. Anti-filarial drugs are donated by the Glaxo Smith Kline - Global Manufacturing and Supply, United Kingdom. And the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Disease (GNNTD) has supported the MDA campaign in Myanmar and made video documentation of the activities.