Sri Lankans should be thankful to mothernature for the free health service and free education. Most of the countries in the world do not have these facilities WHO Representative in Sri Lanka Dr. F. R. Mehta said.
Addressing the World Health Day celebration held at the Health Education Bureau yesterday Dr Mehta said that Sri Lanka annually spends US $ 85 million for procuring drugs and equipment and 23 percent of this budget is spent on antibiotics and anti infectious drugs. This is almost one fourth of the total budget. One hundred and thirty two items on the list are related to antibiotics and similar things. Antibiotic resistance has already become a burning issue in Sri Lanka and other countries. In Sri Lanka people can buy antibiotics over the counter without a prescription but this practice is not followed abroad. Antibiotic resistance was discovered for the first time in the world in 1948, he said.
"It is a collective responsibility of all to tackle this problem. It is not something that should be done by the Health Minister, doctors or health professionals. It is up to the entire public. Using antibiotics rationally is the key solution for this problem. Preventing communicable diseases and improving immunity is also important to do this," he added.