Mass drug administration drive to begin

Kathmandu, March 13

The Epidemiology and Disease Control Division is all set to organise the Mass Drug Administration-Campaign 2017 on March 18, 19 and 20 with the aim to preventing Filaria in the country.

The Division will launch the campaign in 30 districts in two stages.

Drugs against Filaria will be administered in Lalitpur, Bhojpur, Ilam, Dhankuta, Terhathum, Panchthar, Baglung, Myagdi, Parbat, Lamjung, Dang, Banke, Bardiya, Jajarkot, Surkhet, Dailekh, Baitadi, Dadeldhura, Doti, Kailali, Kanchanpur, Achham, Bajhang, Bajura, and Darchula in the first phase.

The campaign will kick off in Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari, Udayapur, and Kapilvastu later in the second phase, informed Dr Bhes Raj Pokharel.

Filaria is a parasitic disease caused by an infection with roundworms of the Filarioidea type. These are spread by blood-feeding black flies and mosquitoes. The disease spreads from person to person through mosquito bites. When a mosquito bites a person who has filariasis, microscopic worms circulating in the person’s blood enter and infect the mosquito. People get lymphatic filariasis from the bite of an infected mosquito.

The microscopic worms pass from the mosquito through the skin, and travel to the lymph vessels. In the lymph vessels they grow into adults. An adult worm lives for about 5–7 years. The adult worms mate and release millions of microscopic worms, called microfilariae, into the blood. People with these worms in their blood can give the infection to others through mosquitoes.

During the campaign, as many as 54,666 health volunteers and 10,449 health personnel will be deployed for 10.8 million people in 30 districts.

Dr Pokharel informed that the campaign would cost an estimated Rs 400 million, including the expenditure of Hydrocele operation. As many as 7,183 people are expected to undergo the operation in 60 hospitals across country.

Informing about the campaign, Director of Epidemiology and Disease Control Division Dr Bhim Acharya said drugs will not be administered to infants that are less than two years, pregnant women, new mothers, Epilepsy patients and severely sick people.

The World Health Organisation has targeted prevention of Filaria by the year 2020. Dr Acharya informed that Nepal will meet the target within next year. Nepal has been organising the campaign since 2003 in 61 districts while the disease has been rooted out in 31 districts.