LAMJUNG: The 10th round of Mass Drug Administration (MDA) is being conducted in Lamjung to reduce the infection of Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) commonly known as elephantiasis in the district from February 27.
The MDA is being conducted in the district under the Lymphatic Filariasis Elimination Programme 2075 along with two other districts in Gandaki Province—Parbat and Baglung.
According to Health Officer at the Lamjung District Health Office (DHO), Keshav Prasad Chapagain, the DHO is targeting to administer anti-elephantiasis medication to 166,289 persons in the district this year through a 15-day-long house to house campaign.
All the people are eligible for the intake of the drug except toddlers less than 2 years, those that are severely ill and pregnant women, informed Besisahar Municipality Health division chief Parmeshowr Piya. He added that the major reason of failure in the elimination of LF in the district is that many refuse to take part in MDA due to the fear of side effects, along with other reasons such as absence from home, not adequate knowledge about the benefit of the drug, and not ‘feeling’ the necessity to take the drug.
According to the seventh round of MDA or the second pre-TAS (Transmission Assessment Survey) the programme, 5.32 per cent of the population in the district were infected, according to Health Officer at the Lamjung DHO, Keshav Prasad Chapagain. Chapagain further added that the infection reduced to 2.5 per cent during the third pre-TAS. According to him, the LF Elimination Program of Nepal will designate the lymphatic filariasis eliminated as a public health problem only after the microfilaria rate is reduced below one per cent.
The Chakratirtha and Dhamilikuwa area within Rainas Municipality of the district are most affected by LF with 15 persons being infected, from among the 600 samples taken there, informed Lamjung DHO. The DHO further informed that among the LF infected persons, most are manifesting hydrocele. Because of the high number of persons presenting hydrocele as the clinical manifestation of LF infection, the DHO is organising free hydrocele surgery camp this year as well in the district.
Lamjung has failed to interrupt the transmission of lymphatic Filariasis despite the annual MDA rounds which was introduced by the government in 2010. Lamjung is one of the three districts that completed nine rounds of MDA and the second district to conduct a tenth round of MDA, just behind Kapilvastu.
(Translated by Sandeep Sen)