Epidemiological investigations reveal that the Likouala department is one of the centers of filariasis. In this part of northern Congo, the disease has been localized in five of the seven sub-prefectures in the department, including Impfondo, Liranga, Epena, Bouanela and Dongou.
Thus, the delegates of the urban communities, of the Public Force and of the religious confessions of Likouala were informed of the negative effects of this endemic, counted among the neglected tropical diseases.
“The Likouala department is one of the five in the country affected by lymphatic filariasis”, said Maurice Ombessa, national delegate of the lymphatic filariasis control program.
These community leaders must help community distributors to raise awareness among the population to take albendazole (Zentel), a drug given free at the same time to fight this disease, he suggested. He added that this drug is not harmful, but rather effective and easy to take. Pregnant and breastfeeding women and subjects with serious illnesses are exempt from this treatment.
Lymphatic filariasis manifests as edema of the lower extremities, skin lesions and elephantiasis, and can also swell a woman’s breast and man’s genitals (hydrocele). It is transmitted by the bite of mosquitoes, in particular aedes, culex and anopheles. Sanitation of the living environment remains one of the effective means of preventing this disease.
It should be noted that in the Congo, people infected and exposed to lymphatic filariasis are found in Likouala, Sangha, Cuvette-Ouest, Pool and Niari.