- Lymphatic filariasis, commonly known as elephantiasis, is a neglected tropical disease.
- It is a parasitic disease caused by microscopic, thread-like worms. The 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 Culex mosquitoes.
- People with the disease can suffer from lymphedema and elephantiasis and in men, swelling of the scrotum, called hydrocele.
- Lymphatic filariasis is a leading cause of permanent disability worldwide.
- These patients are not only physically disabled, but suffer mental, social and financial losses contributing to stigma and poverty.
- Lymphatic filariasis can be eliminated by stopping the spread of infection through preventive chemotherapy with safe medicine combinations repeated annually.
Why in News?
- Union Health Minister Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya inaugurated the second phase of the annual Nationwide Mass Drug Administration initiative for Lymphatic Filariasis in New Delhi.
- It will cover 81 districts in nine endemic States. This includes Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh.
- India is committed to eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis by 2027, three years ahead of the global target through mission mode.