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* Sri Lanka launches program to control non-communicable diseases and malnutrition
Wed, Apr 4, 2012, 11:07 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 04, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government Wednesday launched a public health program to alleviate the malnutrition in the country and control the no-communicable diseases among the country's population.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa launching the "Mihi Meth Suwa Sara" program at the Temple Trees today said the government targets to build a healthy nation of sound mind and body and will provide the necessary strength through quality health service while developing the country as a whole.

Despite fighting a war and facing global economic crises, the government has annually increased allocations for free health and education, the President said addressing the function held to mark the World Health Day falling on the Saturday, April 07.

President Rajapaksa pointed out that Sri Lanka has the best health indicators in Asia and successfully managed epidemics such as malaria and polio due to the free healthcare available to the country's people.

He emphasized the importance of children as well as adults engaging in physical exercises and said that the government has taken measures to build playgrounds and walkers lanes in every city to promote good health through exercise.

The President also highlighted the contribution of unhealthy foods in the diet to the increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) among the people.

Today's event was organized by the Health Ministry which plans to launch the program countrywide on Saturday under the theme "Prevention from Non-Communicable Diseases".

The programme is being mooted at the school health offices and at Divisional Secretariat levels. The President distributed posters, banners and leaflets to the student leaders of these institutions.

Speaking at the event, Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena requested the support and cooperation of all the attendees to make the program a success.

Addressing the function, World Health Organization Resident Representative Dr. Firdosi Rustom Mehta observed that Sri Lanka has made vast strides in the health sector in comparison to other countries in the world.

Mehta noted that Sri Lanka had achieved considerable progress on nutrition as well as a significant growth in the health sector when compared to other countries thanks to the government programs.

Deputy Health Minister Lalith Dissanayake, Ministry Secretary Dr. Ravindra Ruberu and Additional Secretary Dr. P.G. Mahipala also participated in the event.

(Photos by Sudath Silva)

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