THE Ministry of Health has extended the mass drug administration against lymphatic filariasis, commonly known as elephantiasis, to prisons and several prisoners have been immunised against the disease.
In an interview yesterday, Zambia Prisons Service deputy public relations officer Stephen Kagoli said there is no elephantiasis outbreak in prisons and the move is merely a preventive measure.
“The Ministry of Health has taken up the issue of administering elephantiasis prevention drugs in our prisons. This programme is running in all the prisons in all parts of the country,” Mr Kagoli said.
Elephantiasis is a parasitic infection that can result in an altered lymphatic system and cause abnormal enlargement of body parts like legs and arms. The disease is caused by the filarial worm, which is transmitted from one person to the other by a female mosquito when it takes a blood meal.