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Field Reports

September 30, 2014

Episodes from the People Involved in the Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis
A Story from Kiribati - “Hope”

Reporter’s Profile
Kazuyo Ichimori
Visiting Professor, Nagasaki University

On a business trip to Kiribati, I met a person whose leg was huge, swollen up due to elephantiasis. His name was Mr, R., aged 50 years old, a former school teacher. His only wish was “I want to walk on my own”, that was it. Lymphatic filariasis is not a disease that kills the people it infects. However, this same disease damages the health of a considerable number of people, and can alter the shape a person’s body. For some people, their legs become abnormally big, just like those of an elephant, and tragically, they must live with these huge legs for the rest of their lives until the day they die. Stating that he doesn’t want members of future generations to suffer the same tragic fate, and that he would be happy to do anything that could personally contribute to that cause, Mr. R kindly allowed the use of his photograph for PacELF (Pacific Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis) pamphlets and posters. That takes courage. People find there is light in being helped and helping others, and in that light there is also hope.

Reference:
“The leading edge of filariasis countermeasures in the Pacific”
Ishiyaku Publishers
Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IGAKU NO AYUMI), Issue no.198, p298-303, 2001

 
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