Are the necessary tools available!
Albendazole is one of the most widely used antiparasitic drugs for treating intestinal worm infections of children. When co-administered as a single treatment with either the older anti-filarial drug DEC or with ivermectin, it also enhances the ability of these drugs to stop the spread of filarial infection.
- Cost = 0 Donatedby GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)
Developed over 50 years ago, DEC is inexpensive, safe and effective. A single annual dose can reduce microfilariae by 90% for at least one year. If DEC is given in combination with albendazole or ivermectin, effectiveness is greatly enhanced and transmission can be dramatically interrupted. Unfortunately, DEC cannot be used to treat lymphatic filariasis in most of Africa because of severe side-reactions when certain other infections are also present.
- Cost = 0 Donated by Japanese drug manufacturing giant Eisai since 2013 (2.2 billion tbl. until 2020)
A drug that is safe and easy to use. A single dose quickly kills immature forms of the filarial worms (microfilariae) within the human body and when used with albendazole or DEC dramatically reduces transmission of the disease for at least one year. Millions of people in Africa and the Americas are already receiving ivermectin (Mectizan®) annually for treatment of a related infection, river blindness (onchocerciasis)
- Cost = 0 Donated by its developer Merck & Co. (MSD)
Common edible salt can be fortified easily and cheaply with DEC. The drug is very stable, survives cooking and is tasteless. Small amounts taken over a period of months to years can eliminate microfiliariae and interrupt transmission completely.
- Cost = US $0.30/person/year
Circulating Filarial Antigen Test
A simple test to diagnose infection can be performed on a finger-prick blood droplet taken at any time of day and gives results in a few minutes. It replaces the costly, awkward, unpopular, night-time blood sampling and microscopic examination that used to be the only way to determine infection since microfilariae in most parts of the world are found in blood only near midnight!
- Cost = US $1/test
For more information about Lymphatic Filariasis check out Resources.