Task force to control dengue epidemic in Sri Lanka
Mar 5, 2010
Cabinet granted approval to a memorandum submitted by the Minister of Healthcare & Nutrition Nimal Sripala de Silva to appoint members for the National Task Force to strengthen intersectoral coordination and social mobilization for dengue at National Level.

Dengue is a mosquito borne disease prevalent in Sri Lanka since 1962.the disease initially reported from urban areas" has now spread to semi-urban and rural areas and has become a significant public health problem in the country.Presently Sri Lanka has experienced the largest epidemic of dengue fever in the history with 34896 patient and 345 deaths reported in year 2009. The numbers are increasing as there had been 4393 patients and 38 deaths reported during January 2010, heralding a possible escalation of patients which warrants early action.

Getting the country to eliminate and destroy dengue mosquito breeding places has long been recognized as the most effective activity for dengue control. Unplanned urbanization, lack of infrastructure improvement and poor waste management systems are some factors that have contributed to abundant man-made mosquito breeding places and hence resulted in outbreaks of dengue fever in an unprecedented manner.

Since there are many stakeholder and partners responsible for keeping the environment free from dengue mosquito breeding places, Ministry of health has planned to establish a National Task Force with the aim of promoting environmental management through the collaboration of relevant ministries, departments and organizations. As such, the ministry of health proposes the said membership in view of enhancing intersectoral collaboration.

National Health Promotion Policy

Cabinet granted approval to a memorandum submitted by Nimal Siripala De Silva as the Minister of Healthcare & Nutrition to establish a National Health Promotion policy, to implement an Action Plan integral to this policy through the relevant sectors, and to submit a suitable budget necessary for the implementation of the policy.

Health indicators show that maternal mortality rate has been reduced to 14.43/100,000 and the infant mortality rate to 11.17/100,00 in the last few decades, while male and female life expectancies have been increased to 72 years and 76 years respectively.

These achievements have been made through the activities of the health sector along with those of education and other relevant sectors. In reaching these indicators the contributions of the preventive and curative sectors have been immense. To further improve on this health status in the coming decades, a need has arisen for this National Health Promotion Policy in order to strengthen the already approved National Health Policy.

Courtesy: GDI