MDA campaign for Lymphatic Filariasis elimination in 7 Odisha dists from tomorrow


Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government will be organising a Mass Drug Administration (MDA) campaign for the elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) in seven endemic districts of the state. In this regard, an inaugural ceremony will be held in Sambalpur district by the Health Department in collaboration with Global Health Strategies on March 7.

The objective of the ceremony is to create mass awareness about the benefits of Anti-Filarial drug to eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis from state. The Mass Drug Administration (MDA) round will begin from March 7 till March 16 in 7 districts-Bargarh, Keonjhar, Kandhamal, Mayurbhanj, Sonepur, Sundargarh and Sambalpur.

Health department special secretary Dr. Ajit Kumar Mohanty said, “During MDA rounds, all safety precautions (hand hygiene, mask and physical distancing) will be followed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It will further be ensured that eligible beneficiaries in the endemic districts must consume anti-filarial drugs in the presence of health workers. Everyone except children below 2 years, pregnant women and seriously ill people must consume the prescribed dosage during the rounds in the presence of trained health workers”.

He also stressed, “Under this programme, the participation of community is extremely crucial. With the commitment towards elimination of Filariasis, it is very important for public representatives, officials, health workers and the community to make the filariasis elimination programme a public movement”.

He also stated, “With the support of the community and the media, we will be able to eliminate LF completely. If beneficiaries in large numbers consume anti-filaria drugs, it will break the chain of transmission”.

Dr. Shubhashisha Mohanty, State Programme Officer, Vector Borne Diseases, informed, “Keeping in mind India’s commitment to eliminate filariasis by 2030 and acknowledging the importance of continuing important public health initiatives, the Government of Odisha is undertaking MDA round in 7 LF endemic districts of Odisha. The MDA round will be organized following all COVID-19 guidelines issued by the state government.”

Dr. Niranjan Mishra, Director, Public Health, stated that Filaria is a serious public health problem which is spread by mosquito bites.

Filariasis is one of the leading causes of long-term disability worldwide. Commonly acquired in childhood but manifest in adulthood, this infection damages the lymphatic system and if left untreated, it causes abnormal swelling of the body parts which is irreversible. People with Filariasis often suffer from manifestations such as Hydrocele (inflammation of the scrotum), lymphoedema (swelling in the limbs) and Chyluria (milky white urine). The condition affects livelihoods, opportunities and working capacity of those suffering from LF and they often become a subject of stigma. Filariasis is a disabling disease which can be prevented by consuming anti-filaria drugs (DEC and Albendazole) administered by trained health workers.” Dr. Mishra further spoke about the minor side-effects which is usually rare and RRTs are there at field to tackle any such events.

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