Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare Dr Mansukh Mandaviya called for setting the target of eliminating Lymphatic Filariasis from the country by 2027, three years ahead of the global target, through mission mode, multi-partner, multi-sector, targeted drive.
Chairing a national symposium on eliminating Lymphatic Filariasis, commonly known as elephantiasis, from India, Dr Mandavya said, For India, Lymphatic Filariasis is not a neglected disease as may be the case in some other countries, but a priority disease for elimination in a time bound manner.”
“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 for which we have drawn up the roadmap,” he announced.
Reiterating the Government’s commitment to eliminate the disease, Dr Mandavya outlined the five prime strategies, including a multi-drug administration campaign, early diagnosis and treatment, integrated vector control, inter-sectoral convergence with allied departments and ministries and leveraging existing digital platforms for LF and exploring alternate diagnostics.
Emphasising that the country seeks to harness the strengths of its diversity, Dr Mansukh Mandaviya said, “India has demonstrated to the world that we can be Polio free through Jan-Bhagidari (people’s participation).”
“LF elimination calls for the same approach where various Ministries, Departments across the Centre and States, NGOs, private sector through CSR, faith leaders, community influencers etc., come together in a spirit of Sewa and Sahyog” (service and cooperation),” he added.
“Let us have our own “India Model” based on the identification of our priorities and leveraging our strengths to efficiently implement our plans,” he further added.
Speaking at the symposium, NITI Ayog Member Dr V K Paul said that the morbidity backlog needs to be cleared as soon as possible and urged for innovative approaches to reach the remotest parts of the country through special camps, private sector and development partners’ involvement for effective mitigation.
Pointing out that the country has made considerable progress, Dr Paul said, “there are plenty of drugs available to combat the disease, and we can eliminate it.”
Pushed for concurrent research through which local evidence-based decision-making can take place and mass visibility campaigns at the national, state, district, sub-district and block levels, Dr Paul added, “We must have a concurrent implementation research going on along with mitigating strategies, and we need to be guided by local information regarding it.”