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Campaign for a country-wide screening for Filariasis to commence next Friday

HPA has concluded preparation to conduct a country-wide screening of Filariasis, a disease caused by the transmission of filarial parasites through mosquito bites.

Aishath Shuba Solih
11 February 2024, MVT 19:22
Blood sample collection for Filariasis detection test
Aishath Shuba Solih
11 February 2024, MVT 19:22

Health Protection Agency (HPA) has stated that they have prepared to launch a campaign to screen the entire country for Lymphatic Filariasis (Filaria) disease next Friday.

In the statement released by HPA, they said that the country-wide screening to identify the extent of the Filariasis disease amongst Maldivians and expatriates will commence in collaboration with Red Crescent, hospitals, health centers and councils.

The screening is determined to be conducted in all inhabited islands, some resorts and industrial islands.

HPA explains that the screening will be conducted amongst a limited number of Maldivians and expatriates from each island who will be randomly selected. The method for diagnosing an active filariasis infection is with an antigen test done with a blood sample which shows results within 10-15 minutes.

The allocated team will commence visits next Friday between 1600 hrs to 2100 hrs to collect samples for the test.

Employers of expatriate candidates will be spoken to in order to proceed with their screening. The agency has also decided to carry out pre-test procedures of the screening program in a designated area in Hulhumale'.

The agency ensures treatment under a health care worker for individuals testing positive for Filariasis. In addition to curing the symptomatic patient, the medicine also prevents the disease from spreading.

World Health Organization (WHO) had determined the containment of Filariasis disease in Maldives in the year 2016. The only other country in the area who had contained the infection was Sri Lanka.

However, in the random screening held at Haa Dhaalu Atoll Kulhudhuffushi last December to celebrate the International Aids Day, a few expatriates with the Filariasis disease were identified.

While 700 individuals have tested for Filariasis as of present, the infection was detected in 32 individuals.

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