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LF Elimination Program Treats Over Half Billion People and Protects Millions More From Debilitating Disease
Date:10/7/2008

ram's achievements have made the LF elimination effort a model for future large-scale international public health partnerships and has prompted officials to call for the development of a dedicated fund for the treatment and elimination of other neglected tropical diseases.

"Future public-private partnerships will look to the global LF elimination effort as a standout example of how groups can come together to solve a major public health issue," said Dr. Lorenzo Savioli, MD, MSc, Director of the Department Neglected Tropical Disease at the WHO. "We must take the lessons we have learned from the LF model and apply them toward the treatment and elimination of other neglected tropical diseases."

As the Global Program continues towards its goal of eliminating LF by 2020, the coming years will see additional rapid growth and expansion.

About the LF Program

The elimination program is based on a simple two drug, once-yearly treatment of at-risk individuals using safe and effective medicines (albendazole plus either Mectizan(R) or diethylcarbamazine [DEC]). The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a minimum of five rounds to reduce the level of disease below the threshold for sustaining transmission; then mass drug administration (MDA) can be stopped. MDA programs are already underway in 48 of the 83 LF-endemic countries and a number of other countries are in the process of organizing such programs. Since the program began, 66 million babies have been born into risk free areas, a number that is expected to increase sharply as even more countries begin LF elimination programs.

The drugs used for LF elimination are also highly effective in treating intestinal worm infections. Consequently, LF treatments have a positive impact on the educational prospects of children through enhanced mental and physical development, and on reducing low birth weights and maternal anaemia.

About the partnership

WHO's Global Program to Elimina
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SOURCE GlaxoSmithKline
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