Role of community empowerment in the elimination of lymphatic filariasis in south India

Trop Biomed. 2010 Apr;27(1):68-78.


The World Health Assembly in 1997 has targeted the elimination of lymphatic filariasis (LF) by 2020, and in India the goal has been set for the year 2015 by annual single dose mass drug administration (MDA). The role of community empowerment in enhancing the drug compliance and bringing out the function of various methods used to disseminate the information on MDA to the villagers is focused. A longitudinal survey was carried out in nine villages in Tirukoilur block of Villupuram district, Tamil Nadu for filarial infection variables like microfilaraemia, antigenaemia, transmission indices before and after each MDA, to determine the drug impact. Prior to each MDA, health education campaigns with different approaches were carried out with community as the leading player. These IEC approaches were assessed after 4 MDAs for its perception in the community. After four rounds of MDA, there was a significant decline in the filarial infection variables. The microfilaraemia and antigenaemia declined by 59% and 67% respectively. The transmission indices lowered by 89% and 94% (in resting and landing catch of mosquitoes respectively). The decline in these variables, with a drug consumption rate of >80% was achieved due to the effective IEC campaigns prior to each MDA. After 4 MDAs almost 97% of the respondents were aware of lymphatic filariasis. The KAP survey in the rural villages revealed that the dissemination of MDA message through autorickshaw was the most effective, followed by school students' rally. Empowerment of community through the members of women self help groups and school students were observed to be integral to mass drug administration campaigns for the enhancement of drug compliance, thus leading to LF elimination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Albendazole / administration & dosage
  • Albendazole / adverse effects
  • Albendazole / therapeutic use
  • Anthelmintics / administration & dosage
  • Anthelmintics / adverse effects
  • Anthelmintics / therapeutic use
  • Community Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Community Participation*
  • Diethylcarbamazine / administration & dosage
  • Diethylcarbamazine / adverse effects
  • Diethylcarbamazine / therapeutic use
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Elephantiasis, Filarial / epidemiology*
  • Elephantiasis, Filarial / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Mosquito Control / methods
  • Soil / parasitology
  • Time Factors


  • Anthelmintics
  • Soil
  • Albendazole
  • Diethylcarbamazine