Medi-snippets: Nearly 80 % drugs to be made in S.L soon | Sunday Observer

Medi-snippets: Nearly 80 % drugs to be made in S.L soon

The Health Minister Dr Rajitha Seneratne has reportedly said he would ensure that 80 % of medicinal drugs needed by the country would be manufactured locally by the end of this year. At the opening of a medicinal drugs and cosmetics factory in North Ja Ela last week, he is said to have noted that the factory costing Rs 600 million, established by a local firm, was the seventh such local drug and cosmetics production factory in Sri Lanka. He said that the drugs produced by the local factories would be much cheaper than the imported drugs. The Minister was quoted as saying that 73 types of medicinal drugs have been brought under price control so far and another twenty seven would be brought under price control in the future. He noted that the World Bank had provided US $200 million towards the development of primary health care and control of non communicable diseases, and another $100 million would be provided in the future. “Only a small coterie of businessmen was involved in drug imports but the number of patients using medicinal drugs is enormous”, he was quoted as saying.

Move to bring doorstep treatment to leprosy patients

Chief Medical Officer of the Colombo Municipal Council ( CMC) Dr Ruwan Wijayamuni addressing a recent press conference has reportedly said that there was a slight increase in leprosy patients compared to the previous year and the majority of them were from Colombo. Citing figures, he said 691 leprosy patients were reported in the Western Province last year and 77 of them ( 11%) in Colombo. Modera, Mattakkuliya , Bloemandhal, Grandpass South, Naraahenpitiya, Borella and Dematagoda were high risk areas, he said. Due to the slight surge in the number of patients detected he said arrangements were being made to identify all leprosy patients and bring treatment to their doorstep. He was quoted as saying that steps had been taken to conduct a full study on the surroundings where the patients had been detected and screening would be done on all who had associated with the patients as a preventive measure. According to him more men get affected from leprosy than women. High population density and substandard living conditions without required facilities were among some of the contributory factors leading to the increase in leprosy patients.

Substandard motor cycle helmets to be banned

Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Arjuna Ranatunga was reported to have said last week that the Government aims at fixing a specific standard for motor cycle helmets and to ban the import and use of sub standard helmets soon. He is reported to have said that the Government hoped to introduce modern helmets that match the safety standards of Sri Lanka, thereby removing low quality helmets from the market. He reportedly noted that the quality of motor cycle helmets was essential for safety and there were issues regarding the quality and standards of helmets currently being imported to the country. He said a large number of youths had become disabled and died as well due to the use of such helmets and expressed hope that this would bring down the incidence of preventable deaths and accidents on the roads.

Diabetic patients in Colombo spiral

Ten years ago a study revealed that three out of every ten persons in Colombo had diabetes. But the latest statistics show that six out of ten persons in Colombo are now diabetic, Health Minister Dr Rajitha Seneratne was quoted as saying last week. Addressing an Advocacy meeting to strengthen the Primary Health Care system in the country at the BMICH in Colombo, he reportedly said that the leading Non Communicable Disease ( NCD) in Sri Lanka at present was diabetes with cancer ranking second. He reportedly said that only a few communicable diseases such as measles, rubella. HIV and dengue need to be eliminated but were under control compared to other countries, while all other communicable diseases have been eliminated from Sri Lanka. He is also quoted as saying that while people spend a great deal of money on non communicable diseases, the Government spends much more to treat them e.g. it costs around Rs 50 million to treat a single cancer patient.

Sri Lankans now have the opportunity to get a free health check from 841 Healthy Lifestyle Centres and 946 Well Woman Clinics located island wide.

Garbage –free Zone in Sigiriya

The innermost area of Sigiriya has been declared a garbage free zone from February 1 by the Central Cultural Fund. Accordingly, tourists have been prohibited from carrying food packs covered in polythene while ready made short eats and cooked food have also been strictly banned. Bottled and labelled plastic water bottles should also not be brought into the garbage free zone. The management has reportedly given tourists a bag to collect their waste material without scattering them in the vicinity.

Troops clean Diyatalawa town

Following a proposal by the Central Commander Major General Ruwan De Silva, a project was launched recently by a group of Central troops to clean the roadsides from the centre of the Diyatalawa town. Twenty to thirty Army personnel with two officers took part in the drive as the area was littered with polythene bags and other pollutants making the vicinity unhealthy for residents.

W.P Governor orders pavements to be cleared

Western Province Governor M Azath Salley has reportedly pledged to remove all unauthorised structures on pavements after giving due notice to pavement hawkers, insisting that pavements were meant for pedestrians and the roads for vehicles, hoping that this would lead to less road accidents (which have claimed many lives).

Disease resistant prawn species

The Sri Lankan Government with a Thai Institute will introduce a prawn species that are resistant to diseases prevalent in the country. Experts have reported that this species is resistant to other diseases not yet found in the country. The program is being implemented by the Acqua Culture Development Authority.

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