Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Prof. S.P. Singh Baghel, launched the first phase of the Bi-annual Nationwide Mass Drug Administration (MDA) campaign to eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis. The campaign aims to curb disease transmission by providing free preventive medications to residents in areas affected by the disease.
The campaign, covering 92 districts across 11 states, will span the next two weeks. The launch event saw the presence of Chhattisgarh Health Minister, Shyam Bihari Jaiswal, emphasizing the collective effort required to combat the disease effectively.
Addressing the gathering, Prof. Baghel reiterated India's commitment to eliminating Lymphatic Filariasis by 2027, three years ahead of the global target. He praised India's resilience against deadly diseases under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the guidance of Union Health Minister, Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya.
Applauding the healthcare professionals for their tireless efforts, Baghel emphasized the importance of achieving high coverage during the MDA campaign. “We expect great success due to the launch of this bi-annual Mass Drug Administration. Last year, the coverage was 82.5 percent whereas this year we should make greater efforts and try to achieve more than 95 percent coverage of the eligible population.’’ He urged for a mission-mode approach with active community participation to ensure comprehensive sensitization across various departments and sectors, making it a "people's movement."
Shyam Bihari Jaiswal, Chhattisgarh Health Minister, highlighted the challenges faced due to tough terrain and transportation issues but affirmed the government's commitment to eliminating Filariasis through rigorous IEC activities.
Lymphatic Filariasis, also known as elephantiasis, is a priority disease targeted for elimination by 2027. India has recently implemented several measures to accelerate progress towards this goal, including the launch of an advanced five-pronged strategy by the Health Ministry.
The campaign involves 11 endemic states, including Assam, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, and Gujarat. Despite challenges, the campaign aims to make substantial progress in combating Lymphatic Filariasis, with the support of senior officials and implementing agencies.
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