Govt ready for any health challenge - Health Minister
COLOMBO: The Government is ready to face any health challenges and
all precautions have been taken to ensure safety during a time of a
global epidemic such as sars or bird flu, Healthcare and Nutrition
Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said.
Addressing the launch of the implementation of revised International
Health Regulations (IHR) at the BMICH, Colombo, yesterday Minister De
Silva said tourists visiting Sri Lanka are not interested in the
security situation but they are interested in the health situation.
They do not forget to inquire the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in Sri
Lanka and about Malaria in Sri Lanka.
“We have one of the lowest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates in the world and
we are very close to eradicate Malaria completely,” he added.
Minister De Silva pointed out that Sri Lanka has also eradicated
Polio, Leprosy and evaded Sars, Bird Flu and similar global epidemics.
But some countries such as India and Pakistan have not eradicated Polio.
This is why Sri Lanka has to continue vaccination programmes.
“Sri Lanka will welcome IHR and wish to thank WHO for all the
assistance. Sri Lanka has put a lot of input to formulate these
regulations,” he added. The IHR (2005) came into force yesterday within
the two years target set by the 58th World Health Assembly that met in
Geneva in May 2005.
These regulations are needed to keep pace with the changing health
scenario of global health security.
They are a contemporary, updated version of the IHR (1969) which will
afford maximum security against the international spread of diseases and
public health events while ensuring minimum interference with
International travel and trade.
Under IHR all member states are expected to report to WHO within 24
hours of assessment of any novel disease or event of public health
emergency of international concern.