Odisha is committed to eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis

Bhubaneswar : Department of Health and Family welfare, Odisha is committed to leaving no stone unturned in achieving the elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis. On February 10, 2022, the health department organized a state level launch ceremony to flag off the Mass Drug Administration (MDA) rounds from Nayagarh district. The round will be undertaken from February 10, 2022 following all COVID-19 protocols. Dr. Makaranda Beura, Chief District Medical & Public Health Officer, Nayagarh, Dr. Puspa Nilima Lakra, District Public Health Officer, Nayagrh, Dr. Tarak Prasan Tripathy, Addl. District Public Health Officer (VBD), Nayagarh, Ms. Laxmi Das, CDPO, ICDS, Nayagarh, Dr. B P Dutta, State Coordinator, WHO, Odisha and Mr. Anuj Ghosh, Senior Director, GHS were present at the launch event.
During the launch ceremony, Dr. Niranjan Mishra, Director, Public Health, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Odisha, stated that “Filaria” is a serious public health problem which spread by mosquito bites. Filariasis is one of the leading causes of long-term disability worldwide. Commonly acquired in childhood but manifest in adulthood, this infection damages the lymphatic system and if left untreated, it causes abnormal swelling of the body parts which is irreversible. People with Filariasis often suffer from manifestations such as Hydrocele (inflammation of the scrotum), lymphoedema (swelling in the limbs) and Chyluria (milky white urine). The condition affects livelihoods, opportunities and working capacity of those suffering from LF and they often become a subject of stigma. Filariasis is a disabling disease which can be prevented by consuming anti-filarial drugs (DEC and Albendazole) administered by trained health workers.”
He further added that “our focus is to ensure community participation to make MDA rounds successful and appealed to the communities stating that “it is imperative for the communities to consume the drugs in the presence of health workers, to protect themselves and their families from Filariasis. Following his address, he facilitated administration of Anti-Filarial drugs to few beneficiaries to officially launch the Mass Drug Administration round.
The 8 districts that are undertaking MDA from 10 February includes Angul, Balasore, Cuttack, Ganjam, Dhenkanal, Jharsuguda, Nuapada and Nayagarh.
Dr. Makaranda Beura, Chief District Medical and Public Health Officer, Nayagarh mentioned that “During the MDA rounds, it will be ensured that all eligible beneficiaries of the district, consume anti-filaria drugs in the presence of trained healthcare workers. Everyone except children below 2 years of age, pregnant women and seriously ill people must consume the prescribed dosage during the rounds”. Further he mentioned that trained Drug Administrators, Supervisors and Rapid Response Teams have been deployed in all blocks to tackle any minor side-effects which are usually rare.
He further added that the trained health workers will visit every house-hold between 10th to 19th Feb. and urge all eligible community members to consume the Anti-Filarial drugs in front of the drug administrator. He also highlighted that these drugs are safe and have almost no side effects.
Dr. B P Dutta, WHO state coordinator, Odisha highlighted the additional benefits of these drugs. He said that “the preventive drugs administered during MDA such as Albendazole have additional benefits like de-worming, which increases absorption of nutrients in children and helps in their physical and cognitive development”. He also mentioned that “Albendazole” is to be chewed and DEC to be engulfed and these medicines should be taken after food. He also stated that “If beneficiaries in large numbers consume anti-filarial drugs, it will break the chain of transmission”.
Lastly, Mr. Anuj Ghosh, Senior Director, Global Health Strategies thanked all dignitaries and emphasized that “Under this programme, the participation of community is extremely crucial. With the commitment towards elimination of Filariasis, it is very important for public representatives, officials, health workers and the community to make the filariasis elimination Program a public movement”.

Comments are closed.