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Ministries told to work with Health Ministry to eliminate filariasis as public health problem

A Centre for Advocacy and Research note: 
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Dr VK Paul, Member, Niti Aayog, has urged all key ministries to work with the Health Ministry to eliminate filariasis as a public health problem through mass drug administration from 10th February, 2024.
Lymphatic Filariasis (Hathipaon) is a priority disease for the Government of India and is targeted for elimination by 2027. The country adopted the enhanced elimination strategy under which the Mass Drug Administration (MDA) is planned in a Mission Mode on 10th February and 10th August, 2024, together with National Deworming Day. The strategy demands synergy of efforts by all Ministries and Departments to culminate into a Jan Andolan for improved compliance in MDA.
To sustain the momentum for intersectoral convergence, a virtual meeting under the Chairmanship of Dr VK Paul, Hon’ble Member, Niti Aayog, was held on 16 January, 2024, wherein senior officials of all leading Ministries – Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Department of School Education, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Ministry of Youth and Ministry of Tribal development present.
Dr VK Paul,  Member, Niti Aayog, said the time has come to work concertedly and with total dedication and determination to eliminate filariasis as a public health problem. This is a cause and call that each of us in our capacity as representative of government or as development partner and citizen must respond to unflinchingly and with the recognition that this is not just a health problem to be tackled by the health ministry but goes beyond it and in many ways a scourge that all of us together must end and emancipate our people from the burden of this debilitating disease he added and urged everyone to make it a Jan Andolan and ensure 95% of coverage and drug compliance.    
In response to this clarion call of Dr Paul, the officials from all Ministries avowed to fight shoulder to shoulder with NCVBDC and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and make the MDA programme in February, 2024 a success.  Assuring the Hon’ble Member, Niti Aayog of their continued support, Ms. Swati Sharma, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development with “about 8.93 crore Women households have been mobilized into 82.61 lakh Self Help Groups (SHGs) and the SHG members playing a role all over the country in empowering women to access all major programmes including health and nutrition we will ensure that they are geared to support the MDA programme in a missionary mode."

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