Two special awards from the WHO for Sri Lanka’s health sector

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Recognizing Sri Lanka for successfully eliminating rubella and mother-to-child transmission of HIV, the World Health Organization (WHO) has presented two special awards to the Sri Lanka’s health sector.

Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi received the awards at the WHO Office in Colombo today while joining the second day of the 73rd session of the WHO Regional Committee for the South East Asian Region, via online video conferencing.

Sri Lanka’s health services have taken a number of steps to prevent mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV and last year the World Health Organization certified Sri Lanka as a country that has eliminated transmission of HIV and Syphilis from mother to child.

Sri Lanka in 1996, introduced the rubella vaccine into the National Immunization Program and it was given to women between the ages of 11-44 and girls between the ages of 11-15 at the school level, and through immunization clinics to other age groups.

The Ministry of Health had launched an expeditious plan to eradicate the rubella virus from Sri Lanka by 2020, which has been 100 percent successful.

The World Health Organization (WHO) today presented these two distinguished awards to Sri Lanka at the 73rd session of the WHO Regional Committee for the South East Asian Region, which kicked off yesterday (09) in Bangkok, Thailand.

Secretary to the Ministry of Health Dr. Sanjeewa Munasinghe, Acting Director General of Health Services Dr. S. Sritharan was accompanied by Dr. Razia Pendse, Resident Representative of the World Health Organization in Sri Lanka and a group of officials from the Ministry of Health were present at the occasion.

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