Sri Lanka's efforts to eradicate non-communicable diseases praised at World Health Summit
Sat, Oct 21, 2017, 11:28 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.
Oct 21, Colombo: Sri Lanka's political commitment and efforts to eradicate non-communicable diseases (NCDs) received praise at the 9th World Health Summit held from 15th-17th October in Berlin.
Sri Lanka's Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Dr. Rajitha Senaratne attended the World Health Summit (WHS) which commenced under the patronage of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, on 15th October.
The Summit featured over 40 sessions and brought together stakeholders and decision makers from different sectors, representing 100 countries.
Minister Rajitha Senaratne was invited to participate in a panel discussion on 'Non-communicable diseases', chaired by Andres Jack - Editor of the Financial Times. During the discussion, Minister Senaratne explained the various measures that Sri Lanka has taken so far to reduce the percentage of non-communicable diseases by year 2020.
The Minister said Sri Lanka has been successful in containing communicable diseases such as polio, malaria and aim to eradicate other communicable diseases by 2020 except for HIV and dengue. However, the main challenge for Sri Lanka health sector is the non-communicable diseases since about 68 percent of hospital deaths are due to the NCDs.
He said the government has taken several actions to control the non-communicable diseases including measures to reduce tobacco use and smoking, consumption of sugar and unhealthy food while raising awareness among the public, especially among students and women as well as offering free health clinics and providing essential drugs at reduced cost.
The Minister said the government targets to bring down the NCDs by one-third by the year 2020.
Princess Dina Mirad of Jordan, Katie Dain - the CEO of NCD Alliance United Kingdom, Gauden Galez - Director, WHO Regional Office for Europe, and Stefan Oelrich - Executive Vice President Head of Diabetes and Cardiovascular GBU, Sanofi, were among other Panelists.
The political commitment and the strategies implemented by the Government of Sri Lanka in eradicating non communicable diseases were highly commended by the Speakers and the participants of the event. It was further mentioned that Sri Lanka should be considered a positive example by all member States, for its successful approach in overcoming persistent health challenges of the world.
The Summit also facilitated a special session to appreciate the initiatives taken by pioneers from all continents, who have developed new solutions for the critical challenges in public health and social medicine sectors. Dr. Kalana Maduwage - Senior lecturer at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, presented his invention on detecting snake venom in patients' blood, at this session.
Sri Lanka's Ambassador to Germany, Karunasena Hettiarachchi accompanied the Minister, to the summit while the delegation also included Dr. (Mrs) Sujatha Senaratne - Private Secretary to the Minister and Dr. S. Subasinghe - Consultant to the Minister.
The Sri Lanka delegation was successful in meeting several key government officials and representatives from the industry, who commended the positive developments in Sri Lanka in overcoming its major health related challenges.
Video of the Panel Discussion on Noncommunicable Diseases: