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World Malaria Day falls today

World Malaria Day falls today (Wednesday). Sri Lanka received Malaria free status six years.

“The Anti Malaria Campaign of the Health Ministry invites all Sri Lankans to support the national endeavor of keeping the country free of malaria,” Health Ministry sources said.

According to the health authorities, Sri Lanka eliminated Malaria in 2016 and the World Health Organisation certified Sri Lanka as a Malaria free country. However, Sri Lanka is constantly is vulnerable of being affected by Malaria due to the large number of people traveling to and from countries having malaria and due to the prevalence of Malaria spreading mosquitoes in the country.

Around 50 cases of Malaria are reported annually here as a result of Sri Lankans travelling to countries afflicted with the disease. If these cases of imported Malaria are not detected early and treated promptly, there is an enormous risk of Sri Lanka facing a Malaria epidemic.

“There were 41 and 57 imported Malaria cases in 2016 and 2017 respectively,”Health Ministry sources said.

Sri Lankans travelling to India, Madagascar, Mozambique, military personnel returning from UN Peace-Keeping missions in the African region and the returnees from South India resettling in the Northern and Eastern areas are at high risk of getting infected with Malaria. Foreigners and workers arriving from Malaria endemic countries, including refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Myanmar are also at risk of spreading Malaria in Sri Lanka.