A mass drug administration programme has been rolled out in Manicaland Province, with Chipinge being the first district in the province to administer the drug to prevent and control Lymphatic Filariasis, also known as elephantiasis.

The programme will not only help to prevent and control Bilharzia and worm diseases but marks a pilot program to prevent and control elephantiasis in the province.

Chipinge Hospital Health Services Administrator, Bright Mukandi said the mass drug administration is a response to high elephantiasis cases, with the drug being given to all age groups in the district, while drugs for intestinal worms and bilharzia will target only the younger generation.

Lymphatic Filariasis is the second leading cause of permanent and long term disability in developing countries.

It affects over 120 million people in 80 countries and 20 percent of the world’s population is at risk of the infection that can spread to other people through mosquito bites.