National Research Institute on Typhus Fever to be established
The Health Ministry will set up the National Research Institute on
Typhus Fever and Leishmaniasis in Hambantota. Health Minister
Maithripala Sirisena has already instructed health officials to set
up the Institute within the next few months using the resources of
Malaria Project which has been abandoned, a Health Ministry spokesman
According to the spokesman the Malaria Project is not functioning and
its resources will be used for the proposed National Research Institute
on Typhus Fever and Leishmaniasis. A request was made by the Southern
Provincial Health authorities recently to set up this Institute in the
The two diseases are mainly reported from the Southern Province and
the first Leishmaniasis patient in Sri Lanka was reported from
Hambantota a few years ago.
A special team from WHO visited Sri Lanka and conducted researches on
the two diseases but there was no conclusions.
Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease transmitted by sand flies. The
majority of cases are clustered in several districts such as Hambantota,
Matara, Monaragala and Ampara. The place bitten by the sand fly become
reddish and swollen.
Then it becomes a wound which is very painful. Usually the sand fly
bites places such as face (close to mouth), hands, legs etc, he said.
Typhus Fever is spread by ticks, mites, fleas, or lice, each agent
having a distinct epidemiology, but all causing a disease with signs
similar to a bad cold with fever lasting form one to several weeks,
chills, headache, and muscle pains, as well as a body rash.
There is often a large painful sore at the site of the bite and
nearby lymph nodes are swollen and painful, he added.