Medical sector has achieved notable improvements: Health Minister


Sri Lanka has achieved some notable improvements in the health sector such as receiving certification for the eradication of Malaria, adopting a Migration health policy and the multi pronged fight against NCDs by improving access to NCD screening and care through Primary Care, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said.

He said this while addressing the 70th Session of the WHO Regional Committee for South East Asia held in Male, Maldives.

The Minister said that providing cardiac stents and intra-ocular lenses free of charge to those being treated at government hospitals and the reduction of the price of 48 most commonly used drugs facilitating equitable access to medication are also among those notable improvements.

Addressing another side event held during the session the Minister had said that Sri Lanka, as a country which enjoys universal health coverage for almost six decades, has managed to achieve many impressive health improvements by now, especially in the area of maternal and child health and addressing communicable diseases, supported by nearly 100 percent immunization coverage.  

Minister Senaratne stated that Sri Lanka has also been successful in eradicating polio in 1993 followed by lymphatic filariasis last year. 

The country is now targeting on the elimination of Rabies, mother to child transmission of HIV, measles and congenital rubella by 2020. 

Sri Lanka is lucky that we have a fairly low viral hepatitis burden below two percent.

 We wish to continue with this strategy by strengthening our routine immunization program which includes three doses of the hepatitis B vaccine, soon to be boosted with a birth dose of the vaccine based on experts’ opinion, the Minister had stated.



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