Misplaced distrust among health workers hits anti-filariasis campaign

Dhangadhi, March 19

The government’s drive against filariasis has come against a major stumbling block in the far-west, with even health workers sceptical about the anti-filariasis drug.

Many health workers in the far-west only agreed to take the medicine after Director Sushil Pyakurel of the far-western Regional Health Directorate consumed the medicine in front of them at a programme organised in the far-western Regional Health Training Centre last Sunday. Still, some refused to take it saying they were feeling unwell, and others even resorted to leaving the programme venue to avoid taking the medicine.

Pyakurel said the drive cannot be successful if health workers themselves harbour misconceptions regarding the medicine. He said that although the campaign was doing well in the hilly districts, health workers in Kailali were still wrongly sceptical of the drug.

Representatives from the Department of Health Service and Diarrhoea and Disease Control Office dispatched to monitor the campaign only agreed to consume the medicine after watching Pyakurel take it.

Pyakurel said he had directed health workers to distribute the medicine in factories, brick kilns, and industries.

Approximately 81 per cent of people from the far-west took the anti-filarial medicine last year, but only 69 per cent people from Kailali consumed the medicine. The region has to administer the medicine to around 2.33 million people this year. As many as 13,174 health workers have been deployed for the campaign.