Accordinging to the 2017 WHO Epidemiological Report as a result of interventions in the region through 2016, 360.3 million people no longer require MDA. MDA was still required among 449.3 million persons in 5 of the 9 endemic countries. Bangladesh has stopped MDA nationwide, joining Thailand in the post-MDA surveillance phase. Maldives and Sri Lanka continued surveillance post-validation. Based on re-mapping surveys in Myanmar, 2 IUs where MDA had not been implemented were re-classified as not requiring MDA. Myanmar implemented MDA in all other areas where warranted and are planning follow-up impact surveys after having delivered more than 4 rounds in most IUs. Timor-Leste delayed the planned 2016 MDA by 6 months carrying over to 2017 but reached all endemic areas during the national campaign (2017).
Nepal has now stopped MDA after passing TAS in 31 of 61 endemic districts. Scale-down of MDA should continue rapidly as all remaining IUs have implemented 4 or more MDA rounds. The programme currently faces challenges in some districts bordering India where TAS failed or infection levels remain above criteria for proceeding to TAS. India has stopped MDA after passing TAS in 94 of 256 endemic districts. An additional 41 districts across 10 states observed unsuccessful TAS results. India reported 33 districts with population of 89.8 million not requiring MDA but not yet passing TAS. The challenge facing India is developing innovative strategies to ensure delivery and improved compliance with each additional round of MDA both in districts failing TAS and districts not meeting criteria to proceed to TAS.
Indonesia remained the only country in the region that has yet to scale MDA to all endemic IUs. While the programme has not overcome this milestone, 2016 marked the third consecutive year to increase the number of persons treated during the national LF MDA campaign. The programme has also implemented TAS and stopped MDA in 48 districts.
The treatment regime in all SEARO endemic countries is albendazole plus DEC (diethylcarbamazine).
Further information on the SEARO LF programme can be found here.
The South-East Asia Programme Review Group (RPRG) the body which reviews national programmes, applications for drug donations, povides technical guidance and identifies oeprational research issues is chaired by:
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