Keeping ‘imported’ malaria at bay
Sri Lankan health
authorities are taking special measures to prevent malaria from being
reintroduced to the island through visitors travelling from malaria
With seven months to go
before Sri Lanka is certified by the World Health Organisation(WHO) as a
malaria free country, 100% free of indigenous transmission of Malaria,
the Health Ministry is taking steps to prevent the disease from being
re-introduced to the country by travellers travelling or returning to
the island, from high risk malaria countries, in an infected state.
“At present we have zero morbidity and mortality rates due to
indigenous transmission of malaria, with no new cases being reported
since 2012 and no deaths, since 2007. The only reported cases are ‘
imported,’ and even these have been drastically reduced from 95 cases in
2013 to 49 cases last year”, a senior health official told the Sunday
To prevent malaria being re-introduced to the country, the Anti
Malaria Campaign ( AMC) has now appealed to all travellers departing to
and returning from malaria risk countries, to take prophylactic drugs ,
prior to and after they have returned. “They can be living anywhere in
the country and the transmission risk is ever present,”the spokesperson
Ministry sources said, the AMC was currently conducting entomological
surveys to study the malaria vector's behaviour and screening those
living in previously malarial areas in the island, as well as soldiers
going abroad as peacekeeping troops.
” All treatment facilities at government and private hospitals have
been strengthened. We have enough drugs to supply them free of charge.
In addition, the Bandaranaike International Airport(BIA) has a
special health centre where these drugs are available, together with
Anyone leaving the country to a malaria high risk country can
purchase their drugs from the airport or call at the Anti Malaria
Campaign at Narahenpitiya. A 24- hour hotline is now available on
0117626626, “ the source said.