Lymphatic filariasis is not a neglected disease for India as may be the case in some other countries but is a priority for elimination in a time-bound manner, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said Friday.
Inaugurating the National Symposium on India’s Roadmap to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis here, he reiterated India’s commitment towards the target of eradicating the disease from the country by end of 2027.
As part of its commitment to eliminate the disease by end of 2027, the health ministry has come up with a renewed five-pronged strategy as part of which multi-drug administration (MDA) will be held twice a year in synchronisation with National Deworming Day on February 10 and August 10, Mandaviya said.
The other aspects of the strategy include early diagnosis and treatment; engagement of medical colleges for strengthening morbidity management and disability services; integrated vector control with multi-sectoral coordinated efforts; inter-sectoral convergence with allied departments and ministries; leveraging existing digital platforms for lymphatic filariasis and exploring alternative diagnostics.
Mandaviya called for the “right synergy of governmental action and societal improvement” while highlighting that 133 districts across 20 states and Union Territories provide anti-filarial drugs for free.
The Enhanced Strategies for Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis launched at the national symposium will serve as a precursor to the launch of the pan-India MDA Campaign in mission mode on February 10 this year, he said.
The ministry will “observe this day with necessary mass visibility campaigns at the national, state, district, sub-district and block levels to ensure that no one is left behind when it comes to accessing LF preventing drugs”, Mandaviya added.
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