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Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Prof. S.P. Singh Baghel launched the first phase of the Bi-annual Nationwide Mass Drug Administration (MDA) campaign for Lymphatic Filariasis elimination. The campaign aims to check disease transmission by providing free preventive medications to the residents in areas affected by the disease. The campaign will cover 92 districts across 11 states and will run for the next two weeks.

What is Lymphatic Filariasis?

  • Lymphatic filariasis, commonly known as elephantiasis, is a neglected tropical disease.
  • Infection occurs when filarial parasites are transmitted to humans through mosquitoes.
  • Infection is usually acquired in childhood and causes hidden damage to the lymphatic system.
  • The painful and profoundly disfiguring visible manifestations of the disease – lymphoedema, elephantiasis and scrotal swelling – occur later in life and can lead to permanent disability.
  • Lymphatic filariasis is caused by infection with parasites classified as nematodes (roundworms) of the family Filariodidea.
  • There are 3 types of these thread-like filarial worms: Wuchereria bancrofti, which is responsible for 90% of the cases Brugia malayi, which causes most of the remainder of the cases Brugia timori, which also causes the disease.
  • Lymphatic filariasis is transmitted by different types of mosquitoes, for example by the Culex mosquito, widespread across urban and semi-urban areas, Anopheles, mainly found in rural areas, and Aedes, mainly in endemic islands in the Pacific.
  • Treatment – Elimination of lymphatic filariasis is possible by stopping the spread of the infection through preventive chemotherapy. The WHO-recommended preventive chemotherapy strategy for lymphatic filariasis elimination is mass drug administration (MDA). MDA involves administering an annual dose of medicines to the entire at-risk population. The medicines used have a limited effect on adult parasites but effectively reduce the density of microfilariae in the bloodstream and prevent the spread of parasites to mosquitoes


  • Lymphatic Filariasis (elephantiasis) is a priority disease which is targeted to be eliminated by 2027.
  • India has recently taken several measures to accelerate progress towards the goal of eliminating Lymphatic Filariasis. Hon’ble Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya launched an advanced five-pronged strategy for the elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis by 2027 on 13 January 2023 and one of the important strategies of which is ‘Mission Mode India MDA Campaign’ National Deworming Day (NDD) celebrated twice a year on 10 February and 10 August.
  • The 11 endemic states, including Assam, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, and Gujarat will be participating in the campaign.
  • Currently, there are 345 lymphatic filariasis endemic districts in 20 states and union territories of the country. 75% of Mass Drug Administration (MDA) districts are from 5 states Bihar, Jharkhand, UP, Odisha and Telangana. Despite more than 15-20 rounds of MDA, only 138 districts have closed MDA.