Sri Lanka launches a special programme to curb non-communicable diseases

July 19, Colombo: Health Minister of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena will launch a programme named ‘4 by 4 by 4’ to deal with four main diseases, four risk factors and four commitments today at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH).

The programme organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Health Ministry of Sri Lanka aims to mobilize commitments and actions to address Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

The four diseases are cardio vascular diseases, diabetes, cancer and respiratory diseases. The four risk factors are smoking, unhealthy diet, psychical inactivity and use of alcohol. The four commitments are – addressing risk factors through multi-stakeholder partnerships, strengthening the health system, supplying essential medicines and technologies and monitoring and evaluation leading to accountability.

According to the Minister the government has to spend a massive amount to control the non-communicable diseases among the population.

The WHO says although Sri Lanka has made impressive progress in controlling communicable diseases, in improving maternal and child health, and virtually eliminating vaccine preventable diseases, the chronic non-communicable diseases are currently overtaking communicable diseases as the dominant health problem in the country.

The consumption of alcohol, smoking and lack of physical activity have been identified as major causes for much of the NCDs, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

The World Bank recently warned Sri Lanka of escalating health care costs with the rising rates of NCDs in the country if the lifestyles of people and the quality of healthcare did not improve.

According to a World Bank report the NCDs have already become the largest contributor to disease burden in Sri Lanka, accounting for 85% of ill health, disability, and early death.

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