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Help knock out Lymphatic Filariasis — DoH begins village outreach

The causative agents of lymphatic filariasis

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Health Department’s third-round of Mass Drug Administration (MDA) for Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) kicked off over the weekend with a church service on Sunday at the Nu'uuli Methodist Church.

It was officially launched the following day, as DoH teams began their village outreach on the westside of Tutuila island starting with the villages of Fagamalo and Fagali’i.

DoH says the teams will visit house-to-house daily, starting from 3 pm to 7 pm in the evenings. The LF pills will be made available at the DoH clinics soon and the DoH teams will be at scheduled churches on Sundays.

In the latest health advisory on Monday this week, DoH said everyone will be asked to take the LF pills except for: pregnant women; breastfeeding mothers; children under 2 years of age; and individuals severely ill.

DoH says recent surveys this year have shown there are ongoing active transmissions of the filarial worms in American Samoa.

The department explained that MDA is the process of giving medication to all eligible persons in the community to stop the spread of lymphatic filariasis.

“Participating in the MDA will ensure you and your family are protected from the effects of this disease. Taking the medication will also treat other conditions such as intestinal worms and scabies,” the advisory says.

Everyone will be required to sign a consent form.  Parents/guardians of minors (under 18) will be required to sign consent. These medications will be dosed based on your weight. The medications will target the worms and prevent you from spreading the worms to others and prevent you from developing the effects of the disease.

“You will be asked to swallow your LF pills in front of a medical provider or nurse,” said DoH.


In the same health advisory, DoH announced that American Samoa’s COVID-19 vaccine coverage is now at 68.7% of the total population And the target remains at 80% or higher.

A reminder: All vaccination sites and DoH clinics require people to wear mask.