Twenty-seven thousand, two hundred and two, (27,202), out of a total of thirty-three thousand, six hundred and ninety five, (33,695 ), residents in all fifty four (54), communities in the Daffiama-Bussie-Issa (DBI), District of the Upper West Region have been vaccinated against Lymphatic Filariasis.
The exercise undertaken by the DBI Health Directorate earlier this year was part of a national program to reduce Neglected Tropical Diseases, (NTDs) in the country to the barest minimum.
Neglected Tropical Diseases are communicable diseases that prevail in tropical and subtropical country.
NTDs mainly affect populations living in poverty.
The national exercise by the Ghana Health Service was to help reduce 5 NTDs across selected districts in all 16 regions across the country.
The diseases are; Trachoma, Lymphatic Filariasis, (LF), Schistosomiasis, (SCH), Onchocerciasis (Oncho) and Soil Transmitted Helminthes (STH).
In an interview with the DBI District Director of Health Services, Emmanuel Sanwouk, he said the district was chosen because of its unacceptably high cases of the Lymphatic Filariasis.
Mr. Sanwouk stated that the District Health Directorate was success in the distribution of drugs to fight Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) in the district by reaching more than 80 percent of the registered residents.
He said the exercise could not cover the entire registered population because of some exemptions.
Mr. Sanwouk said children who were under 90cm were exempted, pregnant women who were breastfeeding babies under a week old and very ill people.
Mr. Sanwouk described LF as a tropical parasitic disease that affects the lymph nodes and lymph vessels in the human body and mentioned mosquito as the transmitter of the parasites.
He encouraged the residents to use all the basic methods of preventing mosquito bites in the prevention of Lymphatic Filariasis.
Mr. Sanwouk called on the public to cooperate with the health service with regard to such mass immunization exercise.
He said the GHS would not deliberately undertake exercises that would negatively affect the health of the public.
Story by Mark Smith