Global programme to eliminate lymphatic filariasis: progress report, 2022

Global programme to eliminate lymphatic filariasis: progress report, 2022. Weekly Epidemiological Record. WHO, 2023

Lymphatic filariasis (LF) is a preventable neglected tropical disease (NTD) caused by infection with the filarial parasites Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi or B. timori. Mosquitos in the genera Culex, Anopheles, Mansonia and Aedes transmit the parasites from person to person. Lymphedema and hydrocole are the visible, chronic clinical consequences of the impairment of lymphatic vessels caused by infection with these parasites. WHO established the Global Program to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GPELF) to stop transmission of infection by mass drug administration (MDA) of anthelminthics and to alleviate the suffering of people affected by the disease through morbidity management and disability prevention (MMDP). Since the start of GPELF, the number of infections has been reduced by 74% globally. The latest estimate is that 51.4 million people are infected.

Summary of 2022 activity

In 2022, 44 countries were considered to require MDA. MDA had not started in 1 country and had been implemented in some but not all endemic IUs in 6 countries. In 2022 or previously, 36 countries had delivered at least 1 round of MDA in all known endemic IUs; and 10 countries had stopped MDA nationally but had not yet met the criteria for validation. Two new countries, Bangladesh and Lao People’s Democratic Republic, met the criteria for elimination of LF as a public health problem, bringing the total number of countries that have now achieved this status to 19.

Download the full WER No 41, 2023, 98, 489–502 for details. Document is presented in both English and French. Click below to download.

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