Lymphatic Filariasis Current Affairs - 2020

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UP launches Filaria Campaign

The Uttar Pradesh Government has launched a three-day campaign against Filaria as GoI has set a target of eradicating Filaria completely by 2021. The campaign began on November 25, 2019 and is to run till December 10, 2019.

Highlights

The campaign will cover 47 districts and will aim at eradicating Filaria from Uttar Pradesh. The campaigning team will reach every door and provide medicines. The medicines include one tablet of DEC and one tablet of Albendazole. All the age group from children to elderly are to be covered. The dosage of the medicines is fixed according to the age of the persons.

The campaign will also provide special emphasis on mosquito free environment.

India’s status

According to WHO, Filaria is the second-largest disease that makes people handicapped on a large scale. The organization says that around 65 million Indians are at the risk of the disease and 4.5 lakh are already suffering from Filaria.

In India, most of the Filarial outbreaks are found in eastern Maharashtra and Malabar coasts.

Filaria

Filaria is spread through Culex fatigans female mosquito. The disease is caused by the Filarioidea type roundworms.

Global alliance to eliminate Filariasis

In June 2018, India hosted the Global Alliance to eliminate Filariasis. The meeting was held in New Delhi. The organization aims at bringing together public and private organizations to fight against the disease. It also focuses on mobilization of political, technical and financial resources to eradicate the disease completely.

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National Symposium on United to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis

On October 30, 2019, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare organized National Symposium on the following theme

Theme: United to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis.

Highlights

  • The event was inaugurated by the Health and Family Welfare minister Dr Harsh Vardhan.
  • The minister also signed the “Call to Action to eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis by 2021”

Significance

  • The ministry is planning to draw attention towards Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD). Over 1.5 billion people are affected globally due to NTDs.
  • The most prevalent NTDs in India is Lymphatic Filariasis (Hathipaon) and Visceral Leishmaniases (Kala-Azar)

India’s measures

  • GoI is to roll out the use of Triple Drug therapy in a phased manner from November 2019. It is to be implemented by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • India adopted the twin pillar strategy after WHO launched the Global Program to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GPELF)
    • Prevention through Mass Drug Administration using combination of 2 anti-filarial drugs namely DEC and Albendazole
    • Providing Morbidity management and Disability Prevention services
  • GoI aunched the Accelerate Plan for Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis (APELF) in 2018.

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