Earlier today WHO published new guidelines for alternative MDA regimens for LF in the Weekly Epidemiological Record. The new guidelines recommend:
• Triple drug therapy (IDA) for use in countries using diethylcarbamazine + albendazole (DA) in special settings
• Annual ivermectin + albendazole (IA) rather than biannual IA in countries endemic for LF and onchocerciasis, except in areas already distributing biannual ivermectin for onchocerciasis
• Biannual albendazole rather than annual ablendazole in implementation units where LF is coendemic with loiasis and ivermectin has not already been distributed
DOLF studies provided important evidence to support these guidelines. The guidelines are tangible evidence that DOLF is making a policy impact that will hopefully translate to programmatic impact and the ultimate elimination of LF. Many people have worked on these studies. I was reminded of this as I prepared the long list of investigators, administrators, advisors, and consultants who would receive this email. And there are many more people whose emails I do not have, but whose hours of work collecting night blood, preparing blood smears, staring at microscopes and entering or analyzing data were crucial to our work. Congratulations to all of you and your colleagues as we continue to work towards a world free of LF!