An MDA campaign against schistosomiasis was conducted in the Khong and Moulapamok districts of Champasack province in November and December 2021. Efforts to provide essential health services were continued to ensure the performance of the comprehensive health system during the COVID-19 pandemic. Health centre staff strictly observed COVID-19 precautions for infection, transmission and hygiene in providing deworming medicine during household visits, a different approach from last year’s mass gathering deworming campaign.
1 NEWS FROM MEMBER COUNTRIES
Provinces endemic for schistosomiasis are Kratie and Stung Treng along the Mekong River. Around 100 000 people live in these endemic provinces and are at risk of infection. Regular mass preventive chemotherapy is the cornerstone of schistosomiasis control in Cambodia. With the implementation of mass drug administration (MDA) since 1995, the prevalence of schistosomiasis in four sentinel site villages has dropped dramatically from 80% in 1995 to less than 1% by 2020.
In October 2021, teams visited 18 sentinel and spotcheck villages in Kratie and Stung Treng provinces to assess infection status and conduct MDA for Schistosoma mekongi and soil-transmitted helminthiasis. The prevalence of schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis in these selected villages was very low, with one case from the four sentinel site villages in Kratie infected with S. mekongi . However, there were 11 new sentinel villages in Kratie province where S. mekongi was found.
Fiji continues its efforts against neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Nationwide activities for trachoma, lymphatic filariasis (LF) and scabies were conducted in 2021.
In February 2021, the French Polynesia Ministry of Health conducted the Transmission Assessment Survey (TAS) 3 among children aged 6 and 7 years in urban areas of Tahiti. Of the 1188 children who participated in the survey, only two tested positive with the Filariasis Test Strip. Windward urban Tahiti passed TAS 3 in March 2021.
The French Polynesia Ministry of Health implemented an MDA campaign against LF using a combination of diethylcarbamazine and albendazole in October and November 2021. The campaign was conducted in two units (the island of Huahine and three islands of the Southern Marquesas: Hiva Oa, Fatu Hiva and Tahuata). The Ministry of Health is pleased to announce the MDA campaign’s success with a coverage of 92% for the population of Huahine and 70% for Southern Marquesians.