Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare has recently said that India is committed to eliminating Lymphatic Filariasis by 2027 in the National Symposium on India’s Roadmap to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) held at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.

 

What is Lymphatic Filariasis?

  • The Lymphatic filariasis disease commonly known as elephantiasis is a neglected tropical disease. Infection occurs when filarial parasites are transmitted to humans through mosquitoes.
  • This impairs the lymphatic system and can lead to the abnormal enlargement of body parts, causing pain, severe disability and social stigma.
  • It is caused by infection with parasites classified as nematodes (roundworms) of the family Filariodidea. There are 3 types of these thread-like filarial worms —
      • Wuchereria bancrofti, which is responsible for 90% of the cases
      • Brugia malayi, which causes most of the remainder of the cases
      • Brugia timori, which also causes the disease.

 

Global Initiatives to eradicate Lymphatic Filariasis

  • WHO’s road map 2021−2030 — sets global targets and milestones to prevent, control, eliminate or eradicate 20 diseases.
  • Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GPELF) — WHO established this to stop the transmission of infection by mass drug administration (MDA) of anthelmintics and to alleviate the suffering of people affected by the disease through morbidity management and disability prevention (MMDP).