The Kenya Ministry of Health commence a three-day treatment exercise as part of an ongoing campaign to eradicate elephantiasis by 2020 beginning Saturday. The campaign will target counties on the country’s Indian Ocean coast–Mombasa, Kilifi, Lamu, Tana River and Taita Taveta Counties.

Elephantiasis  of leg due to filariasis/CDC
Elephantiasis of leg due to filariasis/CDC

According to Kenya media, the campaign will involve mass administration of drugs followed by provision of surgical opportunities for those suffering from complications of the disease.

Commonly known as elephantiasis, Lymphatic filariasis occurs when filarial parasites are transmitted to humans through mosquito bites. Infection is usually acquired in childhood and the painful and profoundly disfiguring visible manifestations appear much later in life, often in the form of elephantiasis which causes permanent disability. These patients suffer the disease and also suffer mental, social and financial losses contributing to stigma and poverty.

Worldwide, more than 120 million people are infected with elephantiasis, and 1.3 billion people in 73 countries are at risk of the disease.