By JAMES KUNDA –
ELEPHANTITIS cases are on an increase in various parts of Zambia with a prevalence rates estimated between one and 53 per cent, the Ministry of Health has disclosed.
The Ministry of Health has however put up control measures to tackle the disease which is incurable but preventable.
Elephantitis is a disease characterised by massive swelling of the legs and private parts of both male and female human beings.
It is caused by a worm that disturbs the flow of fluids in the legs and private parts leaving victims with swollen body parts.
Ndola district principal clinical care officer Lillian Nyendwa said the disease which was highly prevalent in the past could be contained through mass drug administration to adults and children above the age of two.
Drugs commonly administered in the treatment of elephantitis include; albendazole and diethylcarbamazine.
Dr Nyendwa said the drugs could however not be administered to pregnant women, who would only access treatment upon child delivery.
She was speaking in Ndola yesterday during a stakeholders meeting ahead of the week long elephantitis drug administration campaign between June 8 and 16 this year.
The campaign will run side by side with the child health week.
“In Ndola, the prevalence rate of elephantitis is only about 10 per cent of the population. We will conduct a drug administration exercise for Ndola next week when adults and children will receive treatment to curb the spread of the disease,” she said.
Dr Nyendwa said adults and children should visit their nearest clinics and health posts to receive treatment free of charge.
“Some of our officers will be going around companies, schools, and churches to ensure that everyone receives treatment,” she said.