Staff Reporter

53 per cent of households covered on the first day

The drug eliminates microfilaria from the blood.

KOCHI: The district-level programme of mass drug administration to check the spread of filariasis was inaugurated at the South Railway station on Tuesday by Mayor Mercy Williams.

George John, area manager, Ernakulam, presided over the function that was part of the the National Programme for Eradication of Filariasis. K. T. Ramani, District Medical Officer; Kunju Kunjamma, Divisional Medical Officer of the Railways; Dr. K. V. Beena, district manager, National Rural Health Mission; and Dr. M. S. Sasikala, Deputy District Medical Officer; spoke on the occasion.

Dr. P. S. Peethambaran, Deputy Medical Officer, welcomed the gathering, while the Mass Media Officer, G. Sreekala, proposed a vote of thanks.

The trained volunteers in the Health department, who include supervisors and health workers, distributed the di-ethyl carbamazine citrate (DEC) tablets door-to-door. According to Dr. Ramani, the volunteers covered 53 per cent of the households on Tuesday. The rest of the houses will be covered during the following two days.

The drug helps eliminate microfilaria from the blood of infected people, who generally do not show any symptoms of filariasis. Transmitted by mosquitoes which bite during night time, filariasis remains undetected until the worms become adults and lodge themselves in the lymph nodes, resulting in the swelling of the various body parts. At this stage, filariasis becomes non-curable.