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UP makes progress in elimination of lymphatic filariasis

Health/medicine

UP makes progress in elimination of lymphatic filariasis

Lucknow, March 6 (IANS) As many as 129 (or 76 per cent) out of 169 endemic blocks are now gearing up for the pre-transmission survey (pre-TAS), in eliminating lymphatic filariasis in Uttar Pradesh.

Lymphatic filariasis is a neglected tropical disease caused by the common household mosquito.

Symptoms of this 100 per cent preventable disease and incurable disease may take up to 15 years to show up but they eventually cause lifelong disability and morbidity.

According to data from the Union ministry of health and family welfare, Rajiv Manjhi, joint secretary, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said: “India accounts for over 90 per cent of the world’s LF burden and the nation has pledged to eliminate the disease by the end of 2027, which is three years ahead of the global deadline of 2030. However, we are quite close towards our goal and if we can maintain our dominance over the disease, the target may be achieved before time.”

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As per defined standards, elimination of LF means that the disease ceases to be a public health problem.

This will happen when the microfilaria infection rate is brought down to less than 1 per cent in all the endemic districts.

“The first level of the assessment to ascertain whether LF has been eliminated in a place or not begins with night blood survey in which blood samples from the endemic population are taken and tested for the disease-causing microbe. If the score on this count is less than 0.1 per cent, the endemic region gears up for what is called the pre-TAS and 129 out of 169 blocks of UP are at this stage,” he explained.

Once the pre-TAS is cleared, TAS is conducted to determine that the infection has been reduced below the threshold and preventive drug administration may be withheld.

Thereafter, second and third rounds of TAS follow to ensure that the prevalence does not go above the threshold level. Two preventive medicine regimen based scientific studies of endemic block are rolled out.

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While in mass drug administration (MDA) category, DEC and Albendazole are prescribed, Ivermectin is included in the Triple Drug Therapy (TDT).

–IANS

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