Why in news?
‘United to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis’ was inaugurated by the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare and he signed the ‘Call to Action to eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis by 2021’.
What is lymphatic filariasis?
- Lymphatic filariasis, also called elephantiasis is known as a neglected tropical illness.
- Effects are impairment of the lymphatic system and excessive growth of the body, causing pain, serious disability and social stigma.
- It is a vector-borne illness caused by parasite infection classified as Filarioidea nematodes (roundworms).
- 90% of cases are accounted for by WuchereriaBancrofti worms.
- The rest of the remaining cases are caused by BrugiaMalayi and BrugiaTimori.
- Indian government introduced the Accelerated Lymph Filariasis Elimination Plan (APELF) in 2018.
- India has scaled up the use of Triple Drug Therapy (IDA) in a phased manner from November 2019.
- India have adopted a twin pillar strategy – prevention through Mass Drug Administration (MDA) using combination of 2 anti-filarial drugs (DEC and Albendazole) and providing Morbidity Management and Disability Prevention (MMDP) services to those affected by the disease.