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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The anti-filarial diethyl carbamazine citrate (DEC) tablets will be distributed in the district from Thursday as part of the State Health Department's mass drug administration (MDA) programme.

The tablets would be distributed to an estimated 31.6 lakh people, according to a district panchayat official. Pregnant women, children below two years of age and those who are suffering from fatal diseases have been exempted.

The MDA programme was devised by World Health Organization (WHO) and is being funded by the Centre. It was first launched here in March but the implementation was deferred many times over, following public fears about possible side effects. It was given the go-ahead by the Cabinet only after an expert committee gave a clean chit to it.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated November 7, 2005)
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