91% of Sri Lankan children vaccinated against measles

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Colombo, Jan 23 (IANS) Ninety-one per cent of Sri Lankan children have received measles vaccines, a crucial step in combating a recent resurgence of the disease after eradication, Health Minister Ramesh Pathirana said.

Addressing a press conference at the Presidential Media Centre, Pathirana on Monday outlined further health priorities for 2024, saying that disease prevention takes center stage, with plans to bolster primary healthcare services and improve efficiency for patients.

The Minister said tackling non-communicable diseases remains a major challenge, as more than 20 per cent of Sri Lankans battle diabetes, and the country has high prevalence of high blood pressure, Xinhua news agency reported.

Amid a rapidly aging population, Sri Lanka is proactively addressing the rise of non-communicable diseases like memory impairment, eye diseases and bone diseases through dedicated programmes, Pathirana added.

Dengue fever, another pressing concern, is being tackled with special efforts, seeking increased public collaboration alongside support from health and security departments, he said.

Recognising the existing drug shortage, the government is actively importing essential medicines, with shortages gradually decreasing, according to the Minister.



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