Mathata Thitha programme studied by foreign delegates
Foreign delegates now visit Sri Lanka to study the anti-tobacco and
alcohol programmes, which have won international recognition, according
to a Health Ministry official.
"President Mahinda Rajapaksa's Mathata Thitha work programme (full
stop to tobacco and alcohol) and all other programmes implemented under
same have won wide international recognition, and many foreign
delegations now visit Sri Lanka to study the schemes with the intention
of implementing them in their own countries" a Health Ministry spokesman
According to him a 19 member delegation from Vietnam was recently in
Sri Lanka to study the frame work and apply a similar scheme in Vietnam
to control the excessive use of tobacco and alcohol in that country. The
delegation consisted of legal officers, doctors, and state officials.
"The delegation has revealed to local health officials that Vietnam
is severely affected by alcohol and tobacco and that even school going
children have been found to be smoking while in their classrooms.
Further, the use of alcohol and tobacco by public servants during office
hours was also revealed to be high.
In addition, non-communicable diseases in Vietnam according to the
delegation, are reported to have increased due to the excess use of
tobacco and alcohol.
The literacy rate in that country, members of the delegation state is
much lower than in Sri Lanka" he said.
"Sri Lanka was the first country in the Asian region, and the fourth
country in the world to sign the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco
Control (WHO FCTC).
It has achieved significant success in controlling alcohol, tobacco
and other dangerous drugs. Even smoking in public places have been
prohibited and offenders can be prosecuted in courts", he stated.