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  • Context (PIB): The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has launched the bi-annual Nationwide Mass Drug Administration (MDA) campaign to eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis.
  • The campaign aims to curb disease transmission by providing free preventive medications to residents in areas affected by the disease twice a year.
  • India aims to end Lymphatic Filariasis by 2027, three years ahead of the global target.

Lymphatic Filariasis

  • Commonly known as elephantiasis, it is a neglected tropical disease.
  • Cause: Infection with filarial parasites (nematodes) (Wuchereria bancrofti (90% of cases), Brugia malayi (most remaining cases), Brugia timori).
    • These worms affect the lymphatic system, leading to pain, disability, and social stigma.
  • Transmission: Mosquitoes transmit mature larvae to humans through bites.
  • Symptoms: Lymphedema (Swelling due to lymphatic dysfunction), elephantiasis (swelling of body parts (e.g., legs, arms, breasts, genitals)).
  • Preventive Measures and Treatment: Chemotherapy with safe medicine combinations.

    A diagram of a human body Description automatically generated

  • The Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GPELF) was established by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2000.
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