The Scale of the Problem

Where is the disease found?

Lymphatic filariasis occurs in at least 73 countries. It is most common in India and Africa, but occurs elsewhere in Asia, the Pacific and the Americas as well.

How many people are infected?

An estimated 120 million people were infected when the Global Lymphatic Filariasis Elimination Campaign started At least 1 billion individuals – 1 out of every 5 people then alive – were at risk of acquiring lymphatic filariasis.

What is the true cost of the disease?

  • Permanent long-term disability – lymphatic filariasis is the world’s second leading cause
  • Social loss – lost or broken marriages, lost parenthood opportunities
  • Personal shame and injury – mental and physical
  • Lost/diminished economic productivity
  • Sheer scale of treatment costs that can bankrupt families and heavily burden health services in resource-poor developing countries where the disease is often at its worst

Actual financial costs are difficult to calculate but are huge. Costs in India alone are estimated to be in excess of $1.5 billion annually.

For more information about Lymphatic Filariasis check out Resources.

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