The World Health Organization (WHO) announced Vietnam has eliminated lymphatic filariasis (LF) as a public health problem. Globally, only a handful of countries with endemic LF have achieved this status.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has supported Vietnam in its efforts to eliminate LF since 2011.
Lymphatic filariasis, also known as elephantiasis, is a parasitic disease transmitted to humans via mosquitoes. LF disrupts the body’s ability to drain and redistribute lymph fluids and frequently causes severe swelling of limbs and other body parts.
Painful disfigurement is common, making daily activities like walking and working extraordinarily difficult. Besides pain and disability, many suffer socially and are isolated from family and community members.
USAID strategically supports countries to plan, finance, and implement solutions to their own development challenges. In Vietnam, USAID assisted the country to conduct surveys to assess disease transmission, evaluate readiness and quality of services for persons living with LF and gather evidence and draft the WHO dossier - the formal document that is used to validate elimination of a disease.
|A patient washes his leg, which is swollen from lymphedema caused by lymphatic filariasis. Photo: RTI International/Nguyen Minh Duc.