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Jakarta Post

Indonesia vows to get rid of filariasis by 2025, but progress slow

  • Gemma Holliani Cahya

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, September 28 2018   /  01:08 am

Despite running late in eradicating filariasis, the government says it will rid the country of the tropical disease by 2025.

The Health Ministry said 32 of 236 formerly lymphatic filariasis-endemic regencies across Indonesia were now free from the infectious parasitic disease, known as kaki gajah (elephant foot), including Bandung in West Java, Rote islands in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) and Merauke in Papua.

More regencies are expected to be declared free of filariasis this year, as 73 regencies have finished their five-year compulsory mass drug program and are currently being assessed by the government’s filariasis elimination task force.

The 2025 target is five years later than a goal set by World Health Organization, which aims for the worldwide elimination of lymphatic filariasis as a public health problem by 2020.

“It is impossible to eliminate it by 2...