Lymphatic Filariasis

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    • The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare launched a nationwide Sarva Dawa Sevan or Mass Drug Administration (MDA) campaign to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (LF).
      • The campaign aims to eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis by 2027, three years ahead of the global target.

    What is Lymphatic Filariasis?

    • Lymphatic filariasis, commonly known as elephantiasis, is a neglected tropical disease. 
    • Lymphatic filariasis impairs the lymphatic system and can lead to the abnormal enlargement of body parts, causing pain, severe disability, and social stigma.
    • Infection occurs when filarial parasites are transmitted to humans through Culex mosquitoes. Infection is usually acquired in childhood causing hidden damage to the lymphatic system.
    • The painful disease, lymphoedema, elephantiasis, and scrotal swelling (hydrocele) occur later in life and can lead to permanent disability.
    • These patients are not only physically disabled but suffer mental, social, and financial losses contributing to stigma and poverty.
    • Lymphatic filariasis can be eliminated by stopping the spread of infection through preventive chemotherapy with safe medicine combinations repeated annually.
    • The campaign will focus on intensive monitoring at the block level. Education institutions, offices, banks, industries, and other congregated areas will be covered followed by door-to-door visits by ASHAs and para-medical staff.

    Source: The Hindu