The Himalayan Times, February 21, 2018
Kathmandu, February 20
Epidemiology and Disease Control Division is organising mass drug administration campaign against lymphatic filariasis on February 24, 25 and 26 in 24 districts.
The districts where the mass drug administration campaign would be run include Panchthar, Ilam, Jhapa, Bhojpur, Dhankuta, Morang, Udayapur, Lamjung, Parbat, Baglung, Kapilvastu, Dailekh, Dang, Banke, Bardiya, Bajhang, Bajura, Achham, Doti, Kailali, Darchula, Baitadi, Dadheldhura and Kanchanpur.
The prevalence rate of the disease currently stands at 1.47 per cent. Lymphatic filariasis is a parasitic disease caused by microscopic, thread-like worms. Adult worms only live in the human lymph system.
The lymph system maintains the body’s fluid balance and fights infections. Lymphatic filariasis is spread from person to person by mosquitoes. People with the disease can suffer from lymphedema and elephantiasis.
According to Bhim Acharya, director at EDCD, the prevalence of the disease in country has been decreasing.“We aim to reduce the prevalence of the disease to less than one per cent by 2018,” said Acharya, adding,”In 2003, the prevalence rate of the disease stood at 13 per cent while by 2017 it reduced to 1.47 per cent.”
At a press meet organised by today, Acharya said Rs 383,531,000 had been allocated for the programme. EDCD aims to administer anti-filariasis drugs to 9,154,000 people above the age of six years. As many as 8,557 health workers and 44,524 volunteers have been deployed for the programme.
Focal person at National Lymphatic Filariasis Elimination Programme Pradip Rimal said infants less than two years, pregnant women, new mothers, epilepsy patients and patients of chronic diseases will not be administered the drug. The drug shouldn’t be taken before having any food but only during and after a meal.
Anti-filariasis campaign has already halted in 37 districts, while 14 others are non-epidemic districts.