The popular television and Marathi actor Swwapnil Joshi has been very recently associated with the Maharashtra government as the ‘Brand Ambassador for Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis’ in Maharashtra. This initiative is driven by the public health department of Maharashtra to raise awareness about Lymphatic Filariasis (or Hathi Rog, as it is colloquially known) to eliminate the disease from Maharashtra.
Elimination of filariasis is among the most pressing priorities for the World Health Organization – South-East Asian Region. Countries across the world have committed to achieve global elimination of LF by 2020 with the support of a massive global drug donation program. In India, the office of the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme has reinvigorated its decade-old elimination program with a new drug regime (Triple Drug Therapy), and a new program logo and tagline – ‘Surakhit Dawa, Bharosa Swasthya Ka’.
With Swwapnil, the Government of Maharashtra, under the National Program for Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis, will undertake Mass Drug Administration (MDA) in Nagpur from 20th January. This MDA round will also mark the roll-out of the new Triple Drug Therapy (or IDA) to accelerate LF elimination efforts.