Maharashtra resumes immunisation against filariasis

The Maharashtra government has flagged off its mass drug administration drive for the elimination of lymphatic filariasis and become the first State in the country to resume giving rounds of the drug after the second wave of COVID-19.

The drive will be conducted in six districts — Bhandara, Chandrapur, Gadchiroli, Gondia, Yavatmal and Nanded — till July 15. Maharashtra has 18 filariasis endemic districts. As of 2020-21, at least 31,258 lymphoedema and 11,929 hydrocele cases were reported from these districts.

Mass drug administration is one of the two pillars of the National Programme for Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis, under which anti-filaria drugs are administered to the eligible population once a year.

A combination of two drugs, diethylcarbamazine (DEC) and albendazole, or three — Ivermectin, DEC, and Albendazole — will be administered during the drive.

Of the six districts, Gadchiroli, Chandrapur and Bhandara will undertake the triple drug therapy. Everyone except pregnant women, children below five years and seriously ill people will be administered the drugs in the presence of health workers.

State Health Minister Rajesh Tope said, “Despite the second wave, we are making steady progress towards the elimination of neglected tropical diseases. I urge the community to participate in these crucial rounds, while also following COVID-19 safety protocol, which includes participation in immunisation programmes.”

The Maharashtra Health Services has organised the drive in coordination with Global Health Strategies, World Health Organization, and Project Concern International.

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Printable version | Oct 21, 2021 2:53:29 AM |

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