Notes from the Field on Lymphatic Filariasis

Global Health Frontline News is a special reporting unit of Cielo Productions, Inc. They recently launched a blog entitled Notes from the Field which showcases various global health topics, including neglected tropical diseases. Below are recent and interesting reads about lymphatic filariasis:

Photo credit: Global Health Frontline News

The curse of “Big Fut”: Treating Lymphatic Filariasis
October 19, 2011, By David Lindsay, Managing Editor of Global Health Frontline News.
“Fatmata is one of two attractive, intelligent young women, 19 years old, whom we met during a health campaign in Sierra Leone. They had two things in common: They suffered from what locals call “Big Fut,” and it was unlikely that either of them would ever marry or have a family. “Big Fut” is better known as lymphatic filariasis, or elephantiasis. It’s a dreadful parasitic disease that primarily causes feet, legs and men’s scrotums, to swell to grotesque proportions.” Read the full blogpost here.

Guest Blog: Closing gaps and opening minds: Addressing the psychological burden of lymphatic filariasis in southern Sri Lanka
October 12, 2011, By Lizzie Litt, medical student from the University of Liverpool in the UK.

Photo credit: Global Health Frontline News

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) has classically defined health as: ‘A complete state of physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’ Through physical disability and social stigmatisation, patients with Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) are vulnerable to poor mental states, and subjected to lives lacking all these defining aspects of health. Recent research in Galle, Sri Lanka has established that nothing is being done to identify and address such issues, whilst a solution is within reach. The morbidity management program (MMP), is an aspect of the global program to eliminate LF (GPELF). Although it aims to address the chronic manifestations of LF, it is currently not sensitised to any of the psychological consequences of the disease.’” Read the full blogpost here.

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