Lymphatic filariasis elimination and schistosomiasis control in combination with onchocerciasis control in Nigeria.

This paper describes a pilot initiative to incorporate lymphatic filariasis (LF) elimination and urinary schistosomiasis (SH) control into a mature onchocerciasis control program based on community-directed ivermectin treatment in central Nigeria. In the same districts having onchocerciasis we found LF (as determined by blood antigen testing in adult males) in 90% of 149 villages with a mean prevalence of 22.4% (range 0-67%). Similarly, SH, as determined by dipstick reagent testing for blood in urine from school children, was found in 91% of 176 villages with a mean orevalence in school age children of 24.4% (range 0-87%). Health education and treatment interventions for SH resulted in 52,480 cumulative praziquantel treatments, and 159,555 combined onchocerciasis and LF treatments (with ivermectin and albendazole) as of the end of 2000. Treatments for onchocerciasis and LF were separated by at least 1 week from treatments for SH. There was no negative impact on the coverage of the onchocerciasis program by the addition of LF and SH activities.

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