The 10th Meeting of Global Alliance to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GAELF) was held in New Delhi, India. It was inaugurated by Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare J P Nadda. This is second time India hosted meeting of GAELF. Earlier in 2002, India had hosted second meeting of GAELF.
The 10th meeting recognized that India has highest burden of Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) and there is need of taking leadership role to Eliminate lymphatic filariasis. It provided insight of larger global programme and enable them join discussion and contribute to solutions. On this occasion, GAELF awards was presented to 11 countries- Cambodia, Egypt, Maldives, Cook Islands, Niue, Marshall Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tonga, Togo and Vanuatu, for successfully interrupting the transmission. Moreover, India’s Accelerated Plan for Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) 2018 was also released.
Lymphatic Filariasis (LF)
LF is commonly known as Elephantiasis. It is one of oldest and most debilitating neglected trophical disease, which is currently endemic in 73 countries of the world, including India. LF disease is caused mainly by Wuchereria Bancrofti and spread by Culex mosquito. This mosquito grows in dirty accumulated water. The disease affects the poorest population in society, particularly those living in areas with poor sanitation, water and hygiene. LF does not kill affected people, but may cause permanent disfigurement, reduced productivity and social stigma.
Global Alliance to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GAELF)
GAELF is alliance of partners from 72 LF endemic national country programmes, NGOs, private sectors, academic and research institutes and international development agencies that assists WHO’s Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis. It was formed in 2001, since then it is being held biennially.