A consultative meeting addressing Filariasis was spearheaded by the Department of Health, in unity with public and private hospitals throughout Quezon Province, last October 9, 2012 at Queen Margarette Hotel, Lucena City. The meeting was held in preparation for the month of November, declared as Filariasis Mass Treatment Month through Executive Order No. 369 which was approved last October 4, 2004.
Provincial Health Officer, Dr.Agripino Tullas presided over the said gathering along with representatives of public hospitals inside Quezon. Private hospitals, Southern Luzon Command and representatives from the Department of Agriculture were also in attendance.
According to the report of Dr.Tullas,Filariasis in Quezon is relatively new, with it being the 144th province in the country to become positive with the said ailment. Over a hundred people in 14 municipalities are reportedly afflicted with Filariasis, after a test was conducted within the province. The municipalities that shown positive in the Filiriasis test were Burdeos, Panukulan, Polillo, Tagkawayan, Sampaloc, Quezon, Perez, Guinyangan, San Narciso, San Francisco, Pitogo, Alabat, Candelaria,Sariaya, Atimonan, Catanauan andLucena City.
According to Juvy Paz P. Purino,Vector Borne Disease Control Program Coordinator from DOH-CHD4A, the said disease is not fatal but if it isn’t addressed and cured while in the early stages, it will be life-long condition.
Filariasis is a contagious parasitic disease caused by thread-like roundworms and is passed on host to host through the bites of female mosquitoes. Patient that has been bitten by the female mosquito will have the parasite release onto his or her bloodstream, where they can live for up to 5-20 years and grow as long as 20 centimeters. The adult worms lodge themselves in the tissue and affect lymphatic nodes, causing extreme swelling in affected body parts, and release larvae into the blood stream.
Albendazole and Diethyl carbamazine Citrate are two medicines that work against Fillariasis. A patient will take them once a year for five years, and is set to be distributed for free by the Provincial Government through the participation and partnership of local medical institutions in Quezon next month. Dr.Tullas also suggested that it would be best to create a masterlist of patients to make sure that everyone in Quezon will receive medication against Filariasis. (QUEZON PIO)