Govt targets 11 cr in anti-filaria campaign

The state government is holding a door-to-door campaign for mass drug administration in 51 districts to eliminate filaria from the state.

Targeting immunisation of 11 crore people in the endemic districts against this vector-borne disease, the state government is holding the campaign in three phases, the final phase of which will begin from March 30. The campaign is being funded by the Government of India through National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).

The department of health has employed drug administrators who visit door to door and administer two drugs - Diethylcarbamazine citrate (DEC) and Albendazole - to people above two years of age, excluding pregnant women and people with compromised immunity, said Dr V K Mishra, Joint Director (Filaria), Government of Uttar Pradesh.

"We are targeting around 11 crore people in the campaign, which is being organised in three phases," he said. "The first phase covering 27 districts started March 7 and the second phase covering 12 districts began March 21. The remaining 10 districts including Gorakhpur, Basti and Azamgarh divisions will begin from March 30."

Each phase has a three-day schedule for door-to-door campaign, after which the respective chief medical officer of the district identifies the remaining houses and completes the immunisation coverage within a week.

The mass drug administration for filaria is supposed to be conducted each year on November 11, but the state had missed drug administration in 2011-12 due to delay in release of funds. For the current fiscal, the campaign is being organised at the end of the year. "The drug needs to be administered for five years consecutively for complete elimination of the disease. We are planning a similar month-long campaign for the next four years as well," said Mishra. The Government of India has set the national goal for elimination of the disease by 2015.

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