Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare inaugurated the 10th meeting of Global Alliance to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GAELF), here today. During his inaugural address, Shri Nadda said that India as a Global leader is committed to eliminating Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) transmission and disease burden so that our future generations are free from Lymphatic Filariasis. He further stated that India will always welcome newer initiatives and research to translate into the Filariasis elimination programme.
The Union Health Minister further said that the strategy to eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis in India is based on twin pillars of Mass Drug Administration (MDA) once in a year for interruption of transmission i.e no new case and to cater to the patients already afflicted with the disease with morbidity management. Shri Nadda further said that there is also an urgent need for total integration of different departments for mobilizing the community. I am sure “Accelerated Plan for Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis 2018” released.
Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) or commonly known as Elephantiasis is one of the oldest and most debilitating neglected disease, which is currently endemic in 73 countries of the world, including India. LF disease is caused mainly by Wuchereria Bancrofti and spread by Culex mosquito. This mosquito grows in dirty accumulated water. The disease affects the poorest population in society, particularly those living in areas with poor water, sanitation and hygiene. LF does not kill the affected people but may cause permanent disfigurement, reduced productivity and social stigma.
GAELF is an alliance of partners from 72 LF endemic national country programmes, NGOs, private sectors, academic and research institutes and international development agencies that assists WHO’s Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis and was formed in a year. Since then the meeting is held biennially. The second meeting was held in 2002 in Delhi and India is again hosting the 10th meeting which recognizes that India has the highest burden of Lymphatic Filariasis and there is need of taking a leadership role to Eliminate lymphatic filariasis. Participation of LF programme managers in this meeting will provide an insight of larger global programme and enable them to join a discussion and contribute to solutions.