Mar 12, Colombo: Global lenders World Bank and Asian Development Bank and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have granted financial assistance to improve Sri Lanka's health sector, according to the Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Dr. Rajitha Senaratne.
The World Bank has granted US$ 200 million to the Ministry of Health to control non-communicable diseases and to improve primary health services. The money will be spent on improving primary health care within the next five years, the Minister said.
The World Bank's Regional Director for South Asia Ms. Fadia-Saadah and Minister of Health Dr. Rajitha Senaratne recently held a special discussion at the Ministry of Health to prepare the plans regarding the improvements to the health sector.
At the discussion, the World Bank official commended the progress made in the health sector in Sri Lanka.
The discussion focused on the primary care, maternal and child health care and on measures taken to control non-communicable diseases in Sri Lanka.
The World Bank's Regional Director welcomed the World Health Organization (WHO) certification on malaria-free status on Sri Lanka and commended the actions taken to strengthen primary health services under the leadership of Minister of Health, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne.
She also appreciated the government's measures for preventing non-communicable diseases such as imposing a tax levy of 90 percent on tobacco products and color coding of beverages.
Director General of Health Services Dr. Anil Jasinghe and the World Bank Sri Lanka Representative Dr. Deepika Attygalle and Dr. Jayasundera Bandara also participated.
In addition to the World Bank funds, the Asian Development Bank has granted Rs. 60 billion and JICA has granted Rs. 10 billion to improve the health service, the Minister said.
The funds from JICA will be allocated to develop Anuradhapura, Kandy, Kurunegala, Badulla and Trincomalee hospitals.