WHO, main supporter of health sector - Minister
“The World Health Organization (WHO) Sri Lanka branch celebrates its
60th anniversary today.
“The World Health Organization, an important arm of the UN, was
established on April 07, 1948. Its constitution was prepared in July
1946 with the signatures of delegates from 61 nations.
Minister Maithripala Sirisena
“The first meeting of the WHO held on July 24, 1948 focused on
eradicating small pox, states Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena in a
message to mark the occasion.
The message: “Currently the main attention of WHO is focused on
preventing communicable diseases, such as, Malaria, AIDS and TB and
controlling Non Communicable Diseases and Sexually Transmitted Diseases.
Sri Lanka has been a member of the WHO from its inception.
“The WHO has divided the world into six regions to ensure an equal
service to all people in the world. It has appointed representatives to
147 countries to co-ordinate its activities.
“The WHO started working with Sri Lanka in 1952 and established its
Sri Lanka office at the Galle Face Hotel. The first WHO representative
in Sri Lanka was Dr R L Tuli.
“The Technical and momentary assistance extended by WHO is very
important in the extension of health services in Sri Lanka. The WHO is
the main National and International Supporter of our country's health
“The WHO made a great contribution towards the eradication of Malaria
which affected more than one million people in the period 1968 to 70. It
is now helping Sri Lanka to eradicate Malaria by 2016.
“The direct observation and treatment scheme introduced by WHO has
enabled Sri Lanka to cover all TB patients and cure them.
“The assistance rendered by WHO during the 30 year conflict in
providing health facilities for injured civilians who escaped to safe
areas in the south to escape from LTTE terrorists is most praiseworthy.
“It has also assisted in strengthening health services to control
dengue by introducing international standard treatment methods to the
country. The necessary guidance was provided organizing a training in
the treatment of dengue for a Sri Lankan medical team through a Thai
medical expert named Prof Siri Pen.
‘We have been able to eradicate certain diseases due to the service
rendered by WHO in our country for the last 60 years.
‘On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of WHO I wish to extend my
greetings and good wishes to the WHO, its Director General Dr Margaret
Chang, Director South Asian Region Dr Shamilee Flianbangchang and its
Sri Lanka Representative Dr Furdousz Rustham.”