Control and elimination of lymphatic filariasis in Oceania: Prevalence, geographical distribution, mass drug administration, and surveillance in Samoa, 1998-2017

Lymphatic filariasis (LF) is a major public health problem globally and in the Pacific Region. The Global Programme to Eliminate LF has made great progress but LF is persistent and resurgent in some Pacific countries and territories. Samoa remains endemic for LF despite elimination efforts through multiple two-drug mass drug administrations (MDA) since 1965, including renewed elimination efforts started in 1999 under the Pacific Programme for Elimination of LF (PacELF). Despite eight rounds of national and two rounds of subnational MDA under PacELF, Samoa failed transmission assessment surveys (TAS) in all three evaluation units in 2017. In 2018, Samoa was the first to distribute countrywide triple-drug MDA using ivermectin, diethylcarbamazine (DEC), and albendazole. This paper provides a review of MDAs and historical survey results from 1998 to 2017 in Samoa and highlights lessons learnt from LF elimination efforts, including challenges and potential ways to overcome them to successfully achieve elimination.

Patricia M Graves, Hayley Joseph, Shaun P Coutts, Helen J Mayfield, Fuatai Maiava, Tile Ann Ah Leong-Lui, Palanitina Tupuimatagi Toelupe, Vailolo Toeaso Iosia, Siatua Loau, Paulo Pemita, Take Naseri, Robert Thomsen, Alvaro Berg Soto, Thomas R Burkot, Peter Wood, Wayne Melrose, Padmasiri Aratchige, Corinne Capuano, Sung Hye Kim, Masayo Ozaki, Aya Yajima, Patrick J Lammie, Eric Ottesen, Lepaitai Hansell, Rasul Baghirov, Colleen L Lau, Kazuyo Ichimori. Adv Parasitol. 2021;114:27-73. doi: 10.1016/bs.apar.2021.03.002

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