Sept 10, Colombo: Despite the Sri Lankan government's best efforts to prevent the return of malaria after Sri Lanka was certified by the World Health Organization as Malaria free, a new malaria spreading mosquito species has been found in the in the south-central region of the island.
Four persons who contracted the disease have been reported from Kegalle, health authorities say.
The four people with the disease found in Galigamuwa, Thaligama health medical office divisions are a group of Indian laborers who had come to work for the Ceylon Electricity Board.
Sri Lanka successfully eliminated Malaria completely in 2016 after launching a program to eliminate the disease in 2009. With no cases of indigenous Malaria reported after October 2012 and no deaths due to indigenous Malaria reported after 2007, Sri Lanka was awarded the WHO certification for elimination of Malaria on 6th September 2016.
However the disease causing species of mosquitoes have been found in Mannar, Vavuniya and Kurunegala areas.
The mosquito species, Anopheles Culicifacies, has been found in the Ma Oya and Rambukkan Oya areas of Kegalle.
The health authorities say that this mosquito, which lays eggs in clear still water, will not be destroyed by any pesticide or fumigation method.