• Journal Article

Progress and impact of 13 years of the global programme to eliminate lymphatic filariasis on reducing the burden of filarial disease

Citation

Ramaiah, K. D., & Ottesen, E. (2014). Progress and impact of 13 years of the global programme to eliminate lymphatic filariasis on reducing the burden of filarial disease. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 8(11), e3319. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0003319

Abstract

BACKGROUND: A Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis was launched in 2000, with mass drug administration (MDA) as the core strategy of the programme. After completing 13 years of operations through 2012 and with MDA in place in 55 of 73 endemic countries, the impact of the MDA programme on microfilaraemia, hydrocele and lymphedema is in need of being assessed. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: During 2000-2012, the MDA programme made remarkable achievements - a total of 6.37 billion treatments were offered and an estimated 4.45 billion treatments were consumed by the population living in endemic areas. Using a model based on empirical observations of the effects of treatment on clinical manifestations, it is estimated that 96.71 million LF cases, including 79.20 million microfilaria carriers, 18.73 million hydrocele cases and a minimum of 5.49 million lymphedema cases have been prevented or cured during this period. Consequently, the global prevalence of LF is calculated to have fallen by 59%, from 3.55% to 1.47%. The fall was highest for microfilaraemia prevalence (68%), followed by 49% in hydrocele prevalence and 25% in lymphedema prevalence. It is estimated that, currently, i.e. after 13 years of the MDA programme, there are still an estimated 67.88 million LF cases that include 36.45 million microfilaria carriers, 19.43 million hydrocele cases and 16.68 million lymphedema cases. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The MDA programme has resulted in significant reduction of the LF burden. Extension of MDA to all at-risk countries and to all regions within those countries where MDA has not yet reached 100% geographic coverage is imperative to further reduce the number of microfilaraemia and chronic disease cases and to reach the global target of interrupting transmission of LF by 2020