National Filariasis Elimination Program
Filariasis is a major parasitic infection, which continues to be a public health problem in the Philippines. It was first discovered in the Philippines in 1907 by foreign workers. Consolidated field reports showed a prevalence rate of 9.7% per 1000 population in 1998. It is the second leading cause of permanent and long-term disability. The disease affects mostly the poorest municipalities in the country about 71% of the case live in the 4th-6th class type of municipalities.
The World Health Assembly in 1997 declared “Filariasis Elimination as a priority” and followed by WHO’s call for global elimination. A sign of the DOH’s commitment to eliminate the disease, the program’s official shift from control to elimination strategies was evident in an Administrative Order #25-A,s 1998 disseminated to endemic regions. A major strategy of the Elimination Plan was the Mass Annual Treatment using the combination drug, Diethylcarbamazine Citrate and Albendazole for a minimum of 2 years & above living in established endemic areas after the issuance from WHO of the safety data on the use of the drugs. The Philippine Plan was approved by WHO which gave the government free supply of the Albendazole (donated b y GSK thru WHO) for filariasis elimination. In support to the program, an Administrative Order declaring “November as Filariasis Mass Treatment Month was signed by the Secretary of Health last July 2004 and was disseminated to all endemic regions.
Vision: Healthy and productive individuals and families for Filariasis-free Philippines
Mission: Elimination of Filariasis as a public health problem thru a comprehensive approach and universal access to quality health services
Goal: To eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis as a public health problem in the Philippines by year 2017
General Objectives: To decrease Prevalence Rate of filariasis in endemic municipalities to <1/1000 population.
The National Filariasis Elimination Program specifically aims to:
1. Reduce the Prevalence Rate to elimination level of <1%;
2. Perform Mass treatment in all established endemic areas;
3. Develop a Filariasis disability prevention program in established endemic areas; and
4. Continue surveillance of established endemic areas 5 years after mass treatment.
Prevalence Rate (1997): 9.7% per 1,000 pop.
Endemic in 43 provinces in 11 regions with a total population at risk of 30,000,000
The program targets individuals, families and communities living in endemic municipalities in 44 provinces in 12 regions (30 million targeted for mass treatment or 1/3 of the total population of the country). However, 9 provinces have reached elimination level namely: Southern Leyte; Sorsogon; Biliran; Bukidnon; Romblon; Agusan Sur; Dinagat Islands; Cotabato Province; and COMVAL.
STRATEGY 1. Endemic Mapping
STRATEGY 2. Capability Building
STRATEGY 3. Mass Treatment (integrated with other existing parasitic programs)
STRATEGY 4. Support Control
STRATEGY 5. Monitoring and Supervision
STRATEGY 6. Evaluation
STRATEGY 7. National Certification
STRATEGY 8. International Certification
Management Being Used:
1. Selective Treatment – treating individuals found to be positive for microfilariae in nocturnal blood examination.
Drug: Diethylcarbamazine Citrate
Dosage: 6 mg/kg body weight in 3 divided doses for 12 consecutive days (usually given after meals)
2. Mass Treatment – giving the drugs to all population from aged 2 years and above in all established endemic areas.
Drug: Diethlcarbamazine Citrate (single dose based on 6 mg/kg body wt) plus Albendazole 400mg given single dose given once annually to people 2 yrs & above living in established endemic areas
3. Disability Prevention thru home-based or community-based care for lymphedema & elephantiasis cases. Surgical management for hydrocele patients.
Status of the Program:
PROVINCES THAT REACHED ELIMINATION STAGE: Southern Leyte, Sorsogon, Biliran, Bukidnon, Romblon, Agusan Sur, Dinagat island, Cotabato Province and COMVAL
The following are the organizations/agencies that take part in achieving the objectives of the National Filariasis Elimination Program:
- Coalition for the Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis
- Culion Foundation, Inc.
- Peace and Equity Foundation, Inc. (PEF)
- Iloilo Caucus of Development NGOs, Inc. Iloilo (ICODE)
- Marinducare Foundation, Inc.
- Lingap Para sa Kalusugan ng Sambayanan, Inc. (LIKAS)
- Del Monte Foundation, Inc.
- Ang-Hortaleza Foundation (Splash Foundation)
- Belo Medical Group
- GlaxoSmitheKline Foundation
- Center for Social Concern and Action (COSCA) with Theology Religious Education Department (TREDTWO) – De La Salle University-Manila
- UP Open University-Manila
- UP Manila – National Institutes of Health (UP Manila-NIH)
- UP-College of Public Health
Dr. Leda M. Hernandez
Division Chief, Infectious Disease Office
Department of Health-National Center for Disease Prevention and Control (DOH-NCDPC)
Contact Number: 651-78-00 local 2353
Files and Links:
- Administrative Order No. 25-A s. 1998
- Administrative Order No. 2010-0009