U.S. Pres. Jimmy Carter in Haiti to Fight Against Filariasis
The Sentinel Staff
Monday, November 07, 2011 8:37 AM';
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LEOGANE, Haiti (defend.ht) - The Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), launched on Sunday with the help of several partners, a campaign of mass distribution of drugs against lymphatic filariasis. The launch ceremony was attended by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn.
U.S. President Carter whose foundation, the Carter Center is a partner in the fight against the disease in Haiti was thanked by the Minister of Health, Florence Duperval Guillaume who also recognized the U.S. government's support through aid, organizations, the CDC , in the fight against lymphatic filariasis .
Minister Guillaume welcomed the establishment of the national initiative to eliminate filariasis. She said that by 2020 it can significantly reduce or completely eradicated in the country.
While emphasizing the environmental factors that favor the disease, the minister expressed a set of strategies being considered by the MSPP, from awareness, to drug distribution and management of patients.
The U.S. ambassador in Port-au-Prince, Kenneth Merten, recalled the interest shown by his country for health, next to the governance, infrastructure and agriculture of Haiti. He believed that this is a tragedy that Haiti is part of four countries in the hemisphere where lymphatic filariasis is still present.
Merten reiterated his country's determination to assist Haiti in the fight against this disease and praised the former president, Jimmy Carter, who says he will work to eliminate filariasis and malaria on the island of Quisqueya (Haiti and Dominican Republic).
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter says he is overjoyed to participate in the fight against filariasis in Haiti which he said is a very serious disease. He said that the Dominican Republic and Haiti must cooperate to defeat malaria and filariasis.
Carter informed that the Carter Center he runs with his wife Rosalynn is the largest organization involved in the fight against tropical diseases in the world and assured that it is possible to end this disease in the country.Lymphatic filariasis is a mosquito-borne parasitic infection that causes painful swelling of the limbs and genitalia, preventing those affected from living full and productive lives. While Haiti is one of only four countries in the Western Hemisphere where LF is still present and approximately 8.6 million Haitians are at-risk, transmission of LF can be interrupted by treating the entire population in endemic communities once per year for 5 to 8 years with a combination of medications.Related 11.05.2011: Order of Canada Awarded to Haitian Dr. Jean-Claude Fouron
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Source: US Embassy HT, AHP