Odisha Govt To Start Mass Drug Administration Against Filaria From Feb 10

Bhubaneswar: Odisha government will conduct the Mass Drug Administration (MDA) programme for elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) in 7 endemic districts of Balangir, Kalahandi, Rayagada, Cuttack, Kandhamal, Khurda and Nayagarh from February 10 to 19.

A state-level media sensitisation workshop was organised by the Health and Family Welfare department in collaboration with Global Health Strategies in this connection in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday. The objective of
the workshop was to create awareness among communities and mobilise public opinion to consume anti-filaria drugs for prevention of Lymphatic Filariasis.

Speaking at the workshop, Snehalata Sahu, Special Secretary (Public Health), H&FW department said, “During MDA programme, it will be ensured that everyone except children below 2 years, pregnant women and seriously ill people, must consume the prescribed dosage during in presence of trained volunteer and health workers.”

She stressed that with the support of the community and the media, LF can be eliminated completely. If beneficiaries in large numbers consume anti-filaria drugs, it will break the chain of transmission, she added.

Dr Niranjan Mishra, Director, Public Health, said, “Filariasis is one of the leading causes of long-term disability worldwide. Commonly acquired in childhood but manifested in adulthood, this infection damages the lymphatic system and if left untreated, causes abnormal swelling of the body parts which is irreversible.”

He further said the MDA is a key component in addressing the disabling disease, where anti-filaria drugs (DEC and Albendazole and Ivermectine) are administered to eligible persons by trained health workers. Around 46 lakh population will be covered by the health workers during booth and house to house visit.

Dr Shubhashisha Mohanty, Joint Director-cum-State Programme Officer; Dr Suchitra Sasmal, Senior Regional Director, NCVBDCP; Prof Braj Kishore Das, Additional Director of Medical Education and Training; Dr Pushpanjali Misra, Joint Director, State Institute of Health Family Welfare and Anuj Ghosh, Senior Director, Global Health Strategies also spoke at the workshop. State representatives of World Health Organisation (WHO) and PCI were present.

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