10 million Zambians risk contracting elephantiasis


A senior Zambian government official said on Friday that a survey conducted has revealed that 10 million people are at risk of contracting elephantiasis.


Minister of Health Joseph Kasonde said in a ministerial statement presented to parliament that a mapping exercise conducted has shown that the parasite that causes elephantiasis was present in 85 districts representing a population of 10 million people.
The government, he said, has since embarked on a mass drug administration program against the disease which runs from June 8 to July 2.
“We have started a program on mass administration of drugs in all communities where the parasite is present and our aim is to eliminate the disease by 2020 in line with the World Health Organization goal,” he said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a program to eliminate elephantiasis by 2020.
Elephantiasis is an inflammation generally found in the legs, casing swelling and can, in extreme cases, affect breasts, arms, and genitals. The disease caused by a parasite and is transmitted from one person to another through mosquito bites, takes about 20 years to manifest and is difficult to reverse. The parasite disturbs the flow of fluids in the body causing swelling. Enditem

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