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Acta Trop. 1993 Mar;53(1):1-26.

Social and economic factors and the control of lymphatic filariasis: a review.

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  • 1Special Programme for Research and Training on Tropical Diseases (TDR), World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.

Abstract

Formal control programmes do not exist for lymphatic filariasis in much of the endemic world. The literature on the social, economic and clinical impacts of the disease is so sparse as to provide virtually no guidance on whether the disease should be accorded more importance in national or local public health programmes. This type of research is a major priority. Putting together what little is known about the socioeconomic determinants of filariasis with the fairly extensive experience in control leads to a finding that control programmes must be undertaken at the community level to be effective. Diethylcarbamazine (DEC) is a readily available and apparently safe drug that can be deployed successfully for community control. While research currently is exploring the potential for individuals to protect themselves with DEC or a newer drug, ivermectin, community-wide control is unlikely to be achieved in that way. Under some special circumstances, controlling the mosquito vectors may be sufficient to control the disease, and in other cases, it may complement chemotherapy, but in general, it cannot be relied upon as a primary measure. DEC may be used in a variety of regimens which vary in their cost, duration, incidence of side effects and degree of community participation. Some, including DEC-medicated salt, are particularly attractive alternatives for many filariasis-endemic areas. The search for less expensive, yet effective, control options must continue, and this requires research not only into the costs of the various options, but also into the determinants of community acceptance, compliance and participation.

PMID:
8096106
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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