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Field Reports

March 31, 2015

Observing Lymphatic Filariasis Mass Drug Administration in East Lampung - Indonesia

Reporter’s Profile
Aprilia Muslimah Istuarti
PT Eisai Indonesia

As part of Eisai’s global commitment to support the elimination of lymphatic filariasis (LF), Eisai Indonesia collaborates with various stakeholders in Indonesia including the World Health Organization (WHO), RTI International/Envision (Non-Profit Organization) and the Indonesia Ministry of Health (MoH) Sub-directorate for Filariasis and Schistosomiasis. After several coordination meetings, MoH officially requested Eisai to supply diethylcarbamazine (DEC) tablets through WHO, and Eisai subsequently delivered tablets for the LF Mass Drug Administration (MDA) in Indonesia scheduled for December 2014. Since this marks the first time Eisai manufactured DEC tablets would be used in a country where there is an Eisai regional subsidiary, we decided to visit and observe the MDA directly.
MDA in Lampung and other districts of Sumatra are undertaken by local governments, with support from Central MoH (regarding medicine) and RTI who provides support for planning, advocacy, mapping, drug distribution, training, monitoring and evaluation.
On December 17, 2014, the Eisai team observed MDA in two villages in East Lampung, Sumatra. This is the only district in the Lampung Province that is conducting MDA and they used Eisai’s DEC for their 3rd MDA in 2014.

Eisai DEC bottle

Mr. Sidiq, the Village Head, said that people are happy to take the medicine since they are well educated on LF and MDA, thanks to awareness campaigns and communication from local government and volunteers. They distributed flyers and put up posters and banners in community center areas to raise awareness of the disease and provide information about LF MDA.
The communities in these villages were very enthusiastic in participating in MDA. More than 300 people participated, from young children to senior citizens. Some doctors were also present for consultation and to respond to people’s questions. The communities were really welcoming, and the people were very grateful to meet Eisai and to know that Eisai provides the medicine.

Local MoH staff showing the people how to administer the tablets

We were really pleased to see how people receive and respond to MDA, and were impressed with their enthusiasm. We talked with them to learn about their feelings and their response to the program. Mr. Kamal, one of the participants, was grateful and believes in the program, because he doesn’t want to be infected and cannot afford the cost for treatment. Community’s response to LF MDA was quite good, with better participation than previous MDA, as confirmed by Dr. Damayanti who works at Bumi Mas Village Health Center. According to Mr. Sartono from the local MoH, they had logistic issues in the past due to shortages and delays in medicine supply.
Mr. Haspriyono, who represents the local MoH, was very glad and thankful to get support and attention from RTI, Eisai, Non-Government Organizations and Central MoH. According to him, LF MDA has been well implemented with support and synergy between sectors, programs and communities.
We also asked for feedback from our key partner, RTI, through their NTD Technical Advisor, Mr. Torres, who was excited to be working with Eisai Indonesia, because Eisai was able to meet a critical gap in the program and able to get DEC into Indonesia very quickly. He said that logistics is one of the biggest issues, and that good teamwork and communication with all the partners in Indonesia is necessary for the success of the program. RTI has been very grateful for the Eisai team, because of Eisai’s strong relationship with all partners, and also because Eisai has been easy to work with and responds quickly.
It was really a great experience to observe LF MDA in East Lampung, communicate with local people and partners, and see the real situation on the ground. People in East Lampung are grateful for the support and assistance, and they hope for continued support for LF elimination. They are thankful for the contribution of Eisai and all partners to the program, and appreciated our visit.
Eisai Indonesia will continue to work with MoH/WHO/RTI and all stakeholders to support the National LF Campaign and assist the government in scaling up the program to reach all endemic districts in order to ultimately achieve an Indonesia free from LF by 2020.

Eisai team with volunteers and MoH staff
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