Communities drive elimination of schistosomiasis through improving water, sanitation and hygiene in Cambodia and the Lao People's Democratic Republic
Schistosomiasis is a parasitic disease caused by schistosoma parasites and can cause bloody diarrhoea, nausea, anaemia, stunting, development retardation and even death in severe cases. Caused by Schistosoma mekongi, the disease is endemic in approximately 200 villages of Champassak province in the Lao People's Democratic Republic, and 200 villages of Kratie and Stung Treng provinces in Cambodia, along a 250 kilometre stretch of the Mekong River with about 178,000 people at risk.
October 2016 - After over a decade of efforts, Cambodia, Cook Islands, Niue and Vanuatu have eliminated lymphatic filariasis—also known as elephantiasis—as a public health problem. Dr Margaret Chan, World Health Oganization (WHO) Director-General and Dr Shin Young-soo, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific Region, congratulated health ministers from the four countries for this historical achievement during the opening of the sixty-seventh session of the WHO Regional Committee for the Western Pacific.
NTD, WASH, Animal Health, Nutrition and Education are joining forces to eliminate schistosomiasis in Mekong region
Schistosomiasis can cause anaemia and stunting, resulting in significant retardation of development, and hepatosplenomegaly and death in severe case. Schistosomiasis due to Schistosoma mekongi, remains endemic a stretch of approximately 250 kilometres along the Mekong River, which includes parts of Champassak province in the Lao People's Democratic Republic and Kratie and Stung Treng provinces in Cambodia.
In 2000, WHO launched the Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GPELF) in response to World Health Assembly resolution WHA50.29, which urged Member States to initiate activities to eliminate lymphatic filariasis (LF) as a public health problem, a goal subsequently targeted for 2020. WHO then established the LF Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to provide expert advice to the GPELF and the LF Programme Review Group (PRG) to monitor country progress and to address specific technical issues. The PRG was subsequently decentralized to the Regional Programme Review Group (RPRG) in 2002.
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