The Task Force is helping the Philippines Department of Health and World Health Organization determine whether lymphatic filariasis (LF) has been eliminated from remote parts of the country where the disease had been endemic.
In late July, Katie Gass, PhD, an epidemiologist at The Task Force’s Neglected Tropical Diseases Support Center, visited Matipunso, a small village four hours outside of Manila, to help determine if a public health intervention called a mass drug administration (MDA) had been successful in the area. During her visit, Dr. Gass assisted frontline health workers in using a new tool for assessing whether residents had taken their medicine in a recent MDA. Their findings will help the Department of Health determine whether it can declare communities free of LF or if more MDA will be needed.
In the Philippines, as many as 22 million people are at risk of contracting LF. The Task Force is working with partners to end the disease globally by 2020.