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Sri Lanka Commemorates World Malaria Day with Resolve to Sustain Eradication Efforts

April 27, Colombo (LNW): The national observance of World Malaria Day took place at the Kurunegala Malaria Control Unit premises, presided over by Health Secretary Dr. Palitha Mahipala. The event commenced with a public awareness walk through Kurunegala City on Thursday, underscoring the significance of collective action in combating malaria.

World Malaria Day, marked annually on April 25th, centers on the theme ‘Accelerating the fight against Malaria for a fairer world.’ Malaria remains a significant global health concern, impacting communities worldwide.

Sri Lanka achieved a significant milestone in public health when it was certified as a malaria-free country by the World Health Organization in 2016. However, in 2023, the country reported 62 malaria cases, primarily among individuals who had traveled to African countries.

The commemoration held particular significance as it took place at the site of the first Anti-Malaria Unit established in Sri Lanka in 1911. Dr. Palitha Mahipala highlighted Sri Lanka’s remarkable achievements in public health, noting the eradication of malaria from the country eight years ago, following 105 years since the unit’s inception.

While celebrating past successes, Dr. Mahipala emphasized the ongoing threat posed by malaria due to its persistence in neighboring countries. He affirmed the national commitment to sustaining efforts in malaria prevention and control, highlighting the importance of continued vaccination programs and collective responsibility in this endeavor.

Dr. Mahipala underscored the necessity of ongoing vigilance and education to prevent the resurgence of malaria in Sri Lanka, emphasizing the importance of referring suspected cases for investigation and strengthening anti-malaria initiatives as a national priority.

As Sri Lanka continues its journey towards safeguarding public health, the commemoration of World Malaria Day serves as a reminder of the importance of sustained efforts and global collaboration in eliminating this debilitating disease.

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