News (20)

Monday, 16 September 2013 04:41

End dengue menace as soon as possible


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A President Mahinda Rajapaksa has instructed Health Ministry Secretary Dr. Nihal Jayatilleke to end the dengue menace soon no matter what the costs are, a Health Ministry spokesman said. According to the spokesman, President Rajapaksa had instructed that immediate measures be taken to eradicate the causes for dengue fever and he also assured that the government will allocate funds. The Health Ministry has already commenced countrywide dengue eradication programs.

The total number of dengue cases reported from Sri Lanka during the past eight months is over 22,000 while over 80 deaths have also been reported during the same period.

The most affected districts are Colombo (6,909 cases), Gampaha ( 2,623 cases) and Kurunegala (2,338 cases). The CMC recorded 2,137 dengue cases during the past eight months, he said.

"It is possible that the dengue prevalence may increase with the on going rainy whether conditions and therefore the public should destroy all mosquito breeding sites located inside buildings and in the surrounding environment.

Special attention should be paid to clean blocked gutters, burn leaves etc. Prompt medical treatment should be sought from a state hospital if any person shows symptoms of fever for more than one or two days," he added.


Monday, 16 September 2013 04:33

MRI unearths new Dengue breeding grounds



A recent research conducted by the Medical Research Institute (MRI) found that when people destroy artificial mosquito breeding sites including yogurt cups, tins etc, the mosquitoes go to natural breeding places such as tree hollows and leaves of certain varieties of trees, a Health Ministry spokesman said.

The spokesman said although people destroy artificial mosquito breeding sites created by them as much as possible, the mosquito density goes up all the time increasing the dengue risk. “Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena last year ordered the MRI to conduct a research on this issue. Accordingly, the MRI conducted a research and found that mosquitoes breed more in tree hollows and leaves of trees of a specific variety,” he said.

The PH value of the water found inside tree hollows and leaves was 6.9 percent (an increase of 0.4 percent). The hollows of Delonix Regia trees, trees such as bromeliad, Pandanus, Alocasia, pineapple, cut bamboo trees and Drasania provide ideal breeding places for mosquitoes, the spokesman said.

The research team inspected 766 natural mosquito breeding places and found that 12 species of mosquitoes breed in them. Over 47.2 percent of bromeliads had dengue mosquito larvae and 42.2 percent of Delonix Regia tree hollow had dengue mosquito larvae. Over 40 percent of pineapple trees had dengue mosquito larvae, he said.

Over 55 percent of Delonix Regia tree hollows had dengue mosquito larvae. The MRI requested the public to destroy trees which hold water in them and fill the hollow with sand or cement plaster. No tree should be left to hold water in them because even a teaspoon of water inside a tree hollow or between leaves can provide an ideal breeding place for dengue mosquitoes, he added.

A high level delegation from the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC) led by Director of ABC Ambassador Fernando Abreu is scheduled to visit  Sri Lanka from  08th to 14th of August 2013. 

The Brazilian experts will meet the Health Ministry experts on Dengue control and the experts on forestry from the Ministry of Environment & Renewable Energy during their stay and will have field visit in the country arranged by the Sri Lankan authorities at the end of the programme.

Brazilian delegation is scheduled to sign two Agreements with regard to the Cooperation on Dengue Control and Forestation Development.

This will be the first time a Brazilian Agency undertake such visit to Sri Lanka and the delegation led by Ambassador Fernando Abreu met Sri Lanka Ambassador in Brazil His Excellency Raja A. Edirisuriya on 05.08.2013 in this regard.

Aug 30, Colombo: Health authorities in Sri Lanka will launch an island wide dengue eradication programme next month. The campaign to mobilize communities in dengue eradication will be launched at the Independence Square on September 13th.

Director of Health Services of the Western Province, Dr. Amal Harsha De Silva says that dengue has turned into a problem due to the improper disposal of waste, which needs to be addressed by creating awareness among the public.

He has observed that the development in healthcare facilities provided particularly in Negombo and Gampaha has helped reduce the number of deaths reported due to dengue.

The campaign will use all local government authorities from the Grama Sevaka divisions to the Divisional secretariat divisions.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013 03:38

Dengue fever rampant in Sri Lanka

Visitors to Sri Lanka have been warned of a doubling in the number of cases of people with the potentially deadly dengue fever.

The fever, carried by mosquitos, is common in tropical areas and endemic to parts of Asia and the Caribbean. It is most common in Sri Lanka during the monsoon region, which runs until late July.

This year the Government fears the disease may be running out of control with health authorities reporting 7,000 cases since the start of 2004, against 3,500 cases during the whole of 2003.

The outbreak is particularly bad in Colombo and Galle and up to 50 people have died from dengue fever this year.

The Sri Lanka government has urged citizens to try to prevent mosquitos from breeding.

The Foreign Office said it was not aware of the problem being worse than in previous years and has not changed its travel advice. However, it said it would be speaking to its contacts in Sri Lanka to clarify the situation and would be closely monitoring developments.

On its website,, the Foreign Office says in a section on health advice: "While many medical personnel have received their training in the UK and other Western countries, emergency medical treatment is not available countrywide and injured persons are brought to Colombo for treatment. The options for repatriation to the UK or neighbouring countries in an emergency are limited. Medical facilities are not always of a standard expected in the UK and treatment in private hospitals can be expensive.

"Malaria exists in parts of Sri Lanka and the dengue fever bearing mosquito is found throughout the country. Outbreaks of dengue increase during the monsoon season. Before travelling, you should contact your GP for medical and inoculation advice. Rabies is widespread and common in local cats, dogs, squirrels, monkeys and other animals."

The Foreign Office's headline advice to Sri Lanka warns there is a risk from terrorism in Sri Lanka, but most visits to the country are trouble-free.

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Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena and Economic Development Minister Basil Rjapaksa opened what is billed to be the world's best centre for Clinical Management of Dengue and Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) at the Negombo Base Hospital built at a cost of Rs. 59 million yesterday, a Health Ministry spokesman said.

The spokesman said this centre is to be named the Collaboration Centre for Dengue by WHO during its Convention on Dengue which will take place in Colombo next month.

The centre offers the world's best care for dengue patients, especially dengue patients suffering from DHF and operate as a regional training centre for specialist doctors. The Sri Lankan government funded this project. The centre offers the best care for dengue and DHF patients. The centre is equipped with world's best and latest medical equipment, facilities and technologies.

It has 20 beds, ICU and all the other facilities. The Health Ministry has already established High Dependency Units (HDU) at 50 state hospitals to treat dengue patients.

The number of HDU will be increased to 100 to offer specialised care for dengue patients. It now only takes 30 minutes for a blood test to diagnose dengue, the spokesman said.

Sri Lanka has been able to manage dengue patients successfully compared with other countries affected by dengue fever.

At the moment the dengue death rate has dropped to 0.3. Dengue deaths have drastically decreased due to specialised foreign training provided to Sri Lanka medical professionals and improvement of patient care facilities.

The 0.3 percent of deaths were reported due to patients' negligence such as seeking treatment after developing DHF or Dengue Shock Syndrome, he added.

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