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Filaria patients demand exclusive medical facility

Filaria patients demand exclusive medical facility
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Filaria patients in the district have appealed to the government to set up a separate special medical unit in Khammam district for providing better...

Khammam: Filaria patients in the district have appealed to the government to set up a separate special medical unit in Khammam district for providing better treatment to the patients. Filaria is a major health hazard in Khammam district with as many as 2,935 members suffering from the disease in the district.

Most of them are women. Out of 22 Primary Health Centres in the district, in about 21 PHCs the filaria patients have enrolled their names. Dr Sridhar said that elephantiasis (filariasis) is a parasitic disease caused by infection of two nematode worms, namely wuchereria bancrofti and wuchereria malayi.

The worm blocks the lymphatic system which causes swelling in the legs, arms and other part of the body, making them look large puffy and elephant-like. Although filariasis does not kill, it causes frailty and imposes severe social and economic burdens on the affected individuals and their families. It spreads when the infected mosquito bites a person, he added. Many of filaria patients are going to neighbouring Suryapet distict for treatment as there is a separate medical unit there. They are leading miserable lives in the absence of proper healthcare services and means to support their families.

They are demanding that the government to establish a separate medical unit plant in the district. The District Malaria Officer Rambabu said that since this disease is spread through the bite of mosquitoes there is need to keep check on the growth of their population. By eradicating the mosquito population along with keeping surroundings clean and hygiene growth of mosquito population can be prevented.

Treating the patients with the diethylcarbamazine (DEC) will kill the microscopic worms circulating in the blood. The DEC decreases the levels of microfilaria to a greater extent. But a two-drug regimen DEC with albendazole will be 99 per cent effective in removing microfilaria from the blood after one year of treatment, he added.

There is a need to open a special medical unit for filaria patients in Palair constituency as there are many filaria patients are present in the Tirumalayapalem, Kusumanchi and Nelakondapalli mandals of the constituency along with medical kit to each patient, he observed.

Recently, Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao has announced the State government’s decision to give pension of Rs 1,000 a month to patients suffering from lymphatic filariasis and assured them that a new scheme would be included in the budget for the next financial year. The decision came in the light with the initiation taken by the Roads and Buildings Minister Tummala Nageshawar Rao and with the several agitations led by the left parties in the past.

Lingala Mallamma, a filaria patient of Kakarvai village said the disease has resulted in swelling of legs and arms along with other ailments, besides social stigma. “We are unable to make both ends meet due to our poor health condition and physical disability,” she said. The pension is not sufficient for purchasing of medicines. It should be increased Rs 1,500 along with establishing a separate medical unit in the district, she demanded.

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