A girl in Lam Dong province contracting lymphatic filariasis  (Photo: baolamdong.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam has got rid of lymphatic filariasis (LF) thanks to the Government’s drastic efforts and international support, stressed US RTI International - an independent and non-profit institute that provides research, development and technical services to government and commercial clients worldwide.

“Vietnam joins a small number of countries in achieving validation of LF elimination”, the RTI said. Vietnam’s success is significant to other developing countries, which are struggling with elephantiasis, an infection transmitted to humans through mosquitoes that damages the body’s lymphatic system.

The commitments of the Vietnamese Government, the World Health Organisations and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to ending this tropical disease, together with GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Ltd’s donations of medications, have been paid off.

The institute also spoke highly of the National Institute of Malariology, Parasitology and Entomology (NIMPE)’s role, describing its coordination as a key factor in wiping out the disease.

A national programme to eliminate the LF was launched by the Ministry of Health’s NIMPE in 2001. Large-scale treatment campaign and survey were carried out in six LF-endemic provinces during 2003-2008 to block its transmission. USAID has supported Vietnam’s effort since 2011.

Molly Brady, senior manager on RTI’s EVISON project funded by the USAID aiming at the control and elimination of seven neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), stressed that the Vietnamese Government deserves congratulations for achieving this ambitious medical goal.

The country’s success is counted on collaboration of various sides, including the WHO, USAID and many other partners, she added.-VNA