Kerala set to be complete filariasis-free state
Edappal: Filariasis is finally disappearing from the state. Twelve districts were under the threat of the disease in 2004; as a result of the drive conducted by the Health Department, only three districts are at risk now. They will also be safe by this year, thus making Kerala a complete filariasis-free state.
The drive against filariasis was launched in Kerala in 2004 as part of the mission started by the World Health Organisation with the aim of eradicating the disease by 2020. At that time, all districts except Wayanad, Pathanamthitta, and Idukki were at filariasis risk. A region will be considered to be at risk if the presence of the parasites is found in more than one-hundredth of the blood samples taken during night.
This rate in Malappuram district in 2004 was 4.5. After various activities conducted for three years, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, and Alappuzha were out of risk. Thiruvananthapuram, Kannur, and Kozhikode also made it to the list this year as a result of tablet distribution, prevention drive, and awareness programmes.
The activities will continue in the remaining Malappuram, Palakkad, and Kasargod districts this year. Though there are no possibilities of the disease in these districts as a whole, the rate after blood test is 1.5 in areas such as Ponnani and Palakkad town. In the night-time blood test conducted in various places in these districts, around 1300 positive cases were found.