(An excerpt from the Mectizan Donation Program Annual Highlights for 2021)
After being forced by the pandemic in 2020 to postpone distribution of treatments, in 2021 the Caribbean nation of Guyana got back on track.
The first step was a spirited kickoff event—live-streamed, of course—to launch two weeks of mass drug administration (MDA) across the country. The MDA was carried out by 1,400 volunteers trained in both IDA administration and in COVID-19 infection mitigation. The campaign was supported with press coverage and regional events. By late March 2021, Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony announced “…I’m very pleased to report that the program is now completed. Overall, our assessment is that… about 70 percent of the population have received the filarial pills.”
Transmission assessment surveys (TAS) will verify if they can interrupt MDA and start post-treatment surveillance to confirm that elimination is achieved. Guyana is aiming for elimination of LF as a public health problem by 2025.