Sri Lanka prioritizes nutritional status as well as health- Minister of Health

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – Minister of Health Dr. Keheliya Rambukwella today said the government has given priority attention to improving food safety and the nutritional status of the people as well as the health in the current situation after the Covid disaster.

Meeting with the U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie J. Chung at the Ministry today, Minister of Health Dr. Keheliya Rambukwella said the current government led by President Ranil Wickremesinghe has given the highest attention to the health sector and has given priority to food safety and the nutritional status of the people.

At the meeting, Ambassador Chung donated a stock of medicine and medical equipment needed for emergency treatment and primary health care worth US$ 70,000 provided by the U.S. Department of Defense.

The health aid program is being implemented with the aim of increasing the primary health care system as well as emergency treatment services in the selected hospitals of the island.

The Minister said that a special task force regarding food safety and the nutritional status of the people was formed last week and its initial program was started focusing on the Kandy district.

He said that a special team consisting of experts in child health and nutrition has started many programs with a strong focus in children, and under these programs pregnant mothers and the elderly groups will also be given priority attention.

He also said that the focus has not only been on identifying the nutritional level of these groups, but also on treating the conditions that arise there.

The Minister said the current crises are being managed and efforts are being made to meet the requirements of certain medicines by focusing on the shortages.

Minister Rambukwella pointed out that the tendency of some people who used to go to private hospitals for treatment to come to government hospitals is increasing and therefore, there is a shortage of certain medicines at government hospitals.

The Minister said the donations and loan assistance programs received from friendly countries are also very important to reduce the shortage of medicines.

In order to improve the health sector of Sri Lanka, the Minister said that he will increase the accommodation facilities for the doctors working in remote rural areas and increase the facilities for other staff, and said that he expects quality service in the health sector.

The minister also said that the health service in this country is one of the quality health services in South Asia in terms of international health indicators.

Expressing her views, Ambassador Chung said that big countries that are economically strong were at great risk during the Covid disaster and glad that Sri Lanka was not in such a risky situation.

Ambassador Chung said U.S. will provide full support to overcome this crisis as well as to improve Sri Lanka’s health sector in the future.

Health Ministry Secretary Janaka Chandragupta, Director General of Health Services Dr. Asela Gunawardena, Additional Secretary (Medical Services) Dr. Sunil de Alwis, Deputy Director General of Health Services Dr. Lal Panapitiya and a group of officials from the Ministry of Health and the American Embassy were present on this occasion.

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