BHUBANESWAR: Odisha government will start one more round of mass drug administration (MDA) in two phases for eradication of filaria in the State.
The drive will be conducted from February 10 to 19 in first phase and March 7 to 16 in second. People in 15 lymphatic filariasis endemic districts will be administered a two-drug combination as part of the drive.
While Angul, Balasore, Cuttack, Ganjam, Dhenkanal, Jharsuguda, Nuapada and Nayagarh will be covered in phase I, the drug will be administered in Bargarh, Keonjhar, Kandhamal, Mayurbhanj, Sonepur, Sundargarh and Sambalpur in phase II.
Director of Public Health Dr Niranjan Mishra said two drugs - diethyl carbamazine and albendazole will be administered. “Everyone except children aged below two years, pregnant women and seriously-ill people must consume the drugs in the presence of trained health workers,” he said.
Filariasis is one of the leading causes of long-term disability worldwide. Commonly acquired in childhood but manifested in adulthood, the infection damages the lymphatic system and if left untreated, causes abnormal swelling of the body parts which is irreversible.
So far, Rayagada, Kalahandi and Balangir have been declared filaria free and seven more - Koraput, Kendrapara, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Gajapati, Puri and Boudh are in the process of getting the tag as the three rounds of transmission assessment survey (TAS) has already been covered.
“Three districts have already been announced filaria free. We hope seven more districts will be announced as free from the disease shortly as the survey reports have been submitted to the Ministry of Health. The rest five districts are in different phases of TAS,” said Dr Mishra.
The National Programme for Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis has a two-pillar strategy - MDA and Morbidity Management and Disability Prevention (MMDP), which aims at caring for patients through home-based morbidity management for lymphoedema and surgical correction for hydrocele cases.
Special Secretary of Health department Dr Ajit Kumar Mohanty urged people to consume anti-filaria drugs to break the chain of transmission. He asked districts to follow all safety precautions to prevent the spread of Covid-19 during the MDA rounds.
State programme officer of vector borne diseases Dr Shubhashish Mohanty said the MDA drive will help the country keep its commitment to eliminate filariasis by 2030. Around 55,544 trained volunteers including ASHA workers will visit every household and administer the drugs during the campaign.