- Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare inaugurated the 10th meeting of Global Alliance to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GAELF).
India and GAELF:
- India as a Global leader is committed to eliminating Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) transmission and disease burden so that our future generations are free from Lymphatic Filariasis. He further stated that India will always welcome newer initiatives and research to translate into the Filariasis elimination programme.
- The Union Health Minister also released the Accelerated Plan for Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) 2018 for India.
- With the concerted efforts of Government, state governments and development partners, 100 districts out of total 256 endemic districts have achieved elimination target and stopped Mass Drug Administration after successful validation by Transmission Assessment Survey (TAS) and are under post MDA surveillance.
- The strategy to eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis in India is based on twin pillars of Mass Drug Administration (MDA) once in a year for interruption of transmission i.e no new case and to cater to the patients already afflicted with the disease with morbidity management.
About Lymphatic Filariasis:
- Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) or commonly known as Elephantiasis is one of the oldest and most debilitating neglected 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 water, sanitation and hygiene.
- LF does not kill the affected people, but may cause permanent disfigurement, reduced productivity and social stigma.
- GAELF is an 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 and was formed in year.
- Since then the meeting are held biennially.
- The second meeting was held in 2002 in Delhi and India is again hosting the 10th meeting which recognizes that India has highest burden of Lymphatic Filariasis and there is need of taking leadership role to Eliminate lymphatic filariasis.
- Participation of LF programme managers in this meeting will provide an insight of larger global programme and enable them join discussion and contribute to solutions.