“India is committed to eliminating Lymphatic Filariasis by 2027, three years ahead of the global target through mission mode, multi partner, multi sector targeted drive.” This was stated by Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare Dr Mansukh Mandaviya as he inaugurated the second phase of the Annual Nationwide Mass Drug Administration (MDA) initiative, here today, in the presence of Dr. Bharti Pravin Pawar, Minister of State, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Prof. S.P. Singh Bhagel, Minister of State, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
The Union Minister further stressed that “Through Jan Bhagidaari and ‘Whole of Government’ and ‘Whole of Society’ approach, we shall be able to eliminate this disease from the country”. The second phase, commencing on August 10, 2023, will cover 81 districts in 9 endemic States (Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh).
Deputy Chief Minister, Chhattisgarh, Shri. T.S. Singh Deo, Deputy Chief Minister Uttar Pradesh, Shri Brijesh Pathak, Shri Niranjan Pujari, Health Minister, Odisha, Shri Keshab Mahanta, Health Minister, Assam and Shri Banna Gupta, Health Minister, Jharkhand joined the inauguration event in a virtual mode.
Addressing the gathering, Dr. Mandaviya emphasized that “efforts must not be limited to taking medicines, but also aid in eliminating spread of diseases via mosquitos, without which progress to achieve our goal will be significantly restricted.”
The Union Health Minister also stressed on enhancing synergy between state and central governments for ensuring a healthier nation for all. Enumerating the success of Jan Andolan movements in health by citing the example of Ni-kshay Mitra among others, Dr. Mandaviya highlighted that “community engagement will contribute significantly in garnering success in this mission by the involvement of all stakeholders starting from the grassroot levels.”
Underscoring the wide reach of mass movement, the Health Minister further added “Incorporating awareness generation, and ensuring communication campaigns at villages, panchayats will galvanize the movement leading to wide reach across the nation.”
To further strengthen efforts, Dr. Mandaviya advocated that greater emphasis should be placed in consumption of medicine in front of healthcare workers or professionals as measure in eradicating this disease.The occasion witnessed the launch of National Guidelines for Clinical Management of Dengue Fever 2023 and Chikungunya Fever by Dr Mandaviya.
Shri Sudhansh Pant, Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, added, "The launch of the Mass Drug Administration campaign against filariasis marks a pivotal moment in our nation's health agenda. In our quest to eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis, it is vital that endemic districts consistently achieve robust MDA coverage. Our collective determination will serve to transform lives in endemic regions by elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis.”
Dr. Atul Goel, Director General Health Services, Principal Secretaries and Mission Director of the 9 states, Ms. Lamchonghoi Sweety Changsan, Additional Secretary and Mission Director (NHM), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Shri Rajiv Manjhi, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Joint Secretaries of Allied Ministries, Dr Tanu Jain, Director, National Centre for Vector-Borne Diseases Control, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. M. Indumati, Director, Directorate of Health and Family Welfare Services, Karnataka, Senior Regional Directors and Regional Directors of 9 states and senior government officials were also present in the meeting.