More than 1 billion people in approximately 80 countries live at risk of contracting lymphatic filariasis (LF). More commonly known as elephantiasis, LF is a devastating parasitic infection spread by mosquitoes. Currently over 120 million people are already infected, with more than 40 million incapacitated or disfigured by the disease.
In response to this enormous challenge, the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis was formed in 2000 with the sole purpose of supporting the Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GAELF). The Global Alliance provides fundraising, advocacy, communications and technical assistance in support of the Global Programme's two goals:
• The elimination of LF as a public health problem by 2020
• The alleviation of physical, social and economic hardship in individuals who have LF-induced disability
The Lymphatic Filariasis Support Centre for Africa housed at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) is the most recent addition to the group of elimination support centres of GAELF. The alliance is a coalition of partners including endemic countries, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other international agencies, pharmaceutical firms, academic institutions, and donor agencies. The four LF Support Centres are housed at academic institutions: Liverpool LFSC at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in the UK, Emory LFSC at the Task Force for Child Survival and Development in the USA, the LFSC at James Cook University in Australia, and the LFSCA at NMIMR in Ghana.
The LFSCA was established to address issues in an endemic region, and to ensure the north-south transfer of “know how “. The Centre provides operational support, capacity building, and a platform for exchange of information among the various country programs.
Institutional Home of the LFSCA
The LFSCA has primary linkage with NMIMR’s Parasitology Department and Epidemiology Department
The LFSCA also has linkage with the Health Research Unit of the Ghana Health Service, which houses the National LF Elimination Programme.
Collaboration with Other Agencies
The LFSCA collaborates with WHO/AFRO, other LF Support Centres, Glaxo-Smith Kline UK, the Mectizan Donation Programme, Merck/MDP, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Japan, and non-governmental organisations.
Management of the LFSCA
Coordinator: Prof. John Gyapong
Deputy Coordinator: Prof. Daniel Boakye
Senior Scientific Advisor: Prof. Michael D. Wilson
Senior Scientific Advisor: Dr. Boakye Boatin
Principal Research Assistant: Irene Offei Owusu
Secretary: Bernice Budu
The Director of NMIMR has general oversight of the Centre.
Lymphatic Filariasis Support Centre for Africa
Noguchi Memorial Institute for Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research
University of Ghana
P.O. Box LG 581,
Tel: + 233-302-501178/9
Fax:+ 233 302 502182