Sri Lanka can be taken as a role model in the elimination of malaria. Not a single case of malaria has been reported in the country since 2012, Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said.
Addressing the Ministers’ Meeting of the 67th World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland recently, Minister Sirisena quoting the director of Global Health Group Sir Richard Feachem said Sri Lanka has shown the world how to eliminate malaria. “The country has made extraordinary progress reducing malaria by 99.9 percent during the past decade,” he said.
Minister Sirisena said climate change can be destructive to human health and the well-being of the people.
“In a tropical country like Sri Lanka, it increases the risk of certain infectious diseases spread by mosquitoes and other insects. These vector borne diseases include dengue fever and malaria,” he said.
Minister Sirisena said as a result of his appeal, a Presidential Task Force was formed under the leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to fight the spread of this disease.
“Several important Ministries such as Defence, Law and Order, Local Government, Public Administration, Education and Disaster Management were included in this Task Force. Officials of the Defence Ministry together with the Armed Forces and the Police participated to clear mosquito breeding places in all districts. All these activities and the dedication of our clinical and public health staff have contributed greatly towards bringing down the dengue deaths to a very low figure,” he said.
“Our lives are connected to the climate. As a result of massive amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases emitted to the atmosphere, we see changes to the relatively stable climate that we enjoyed in the past.
Our planet will soon become a sick giant, so will be its people. The industrialized nations are the worst offenders in this scenario. They emit the highest amounts of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Fossil fuels and low quality gasoline used to power diesel engines contribute a major share of carbon-dioxide that pollutes the environment,” Minister Sirisena added.