United to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis

Context

  • Recently the Health Ministry inaugurates National Symposium on the theme ‘United to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis.’
  • Government of India launched the Accelerated Plan for Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis (APELF) in 2018. By the end of February 2019, India successfully rolled out IDA treatment across 4 districts including Arwal in Bihar, Simdega in Jharkhand, Nagpur in Maharashtra and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. 

About Lymphatic filariasis:

  • Lymphatic filariasis (LF), commonly known as elephantiasis or Hathipaon, is a neglected tropical disease.

  • It is caused by Wuchereria bancrofti and spread by Culex mosquito. This mosquito grows in dirty accumulated water. Infection occurs when filarial parasites are transmitted to humans through mosquitoes. The infection is usually acquired in childhood, causing hidden damage to the lymphatic system.
  • Lymphatic filariasis does not kill the affected people but may cause permanent disfigurement, reduced productivity and social stigma.
  • It is one of the oldest and most debilitating neglected disease, which is currently endemic in 73 countries of the world, including India. The disease affects the poorest population in society, particularly those living in areas with poor water, sanitation and hygiene.
  • The Global Program to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GPELF) was launched by the World Health Organization in 2000.

Source: TH