Colombo, Dec. 16 – Sri Lanka’s health officials have warned of a serious outbreak of a dengue epidemic and have urgently sought stakeholders meeting to control the spread of the disease as 120 deaths have been reported so far this year, the GMOA said.
Secretary of the GMOA, Dr. Haritha Aluthge told the local Daily Mirror that the GMOA has informed the new Health Minister, Pavithra Wanniarachchi and the Secretary to the Ministry of Health of the seriousness of the issue as over 10 districts were affected by the rapidly increasing spread of the disease.
Dr. Haritha said that while Colombo, Gampaha and Kandy were the worst affected districts, with 50 per cent of the total of over 87,000 number of cases reported, for the first time an outbreak of dengue was also reported from the Jaffna District.
In Jaffna alone, 7,000 dengue cases have been reported.
Dr. Haritha said that last year, the GMOA had put forward a proposal to control the spread of dengue which was implemented temporarily by the former health minister. However, it was neglected months later.
The GMOA now calls for the full implementation of the proposals and hope to discuss it with all stakeholders including the presidential task force which was appointed by the former government to tackle the spread of the disease.
Some of the proposals include stronger co-ordination with all the authorities including at the district levels.
Director of the National Dengue Control Unit, Dr. Aruna Jayasekara told the Daily Mirror that a higher number of people were affected by dengue this year due to the continuous rains.
A national dengue programme is frequently implemented in the affected areas and next week a fresh programme will be launched in the high-risk areas, he said.
According to official statistics from the Epidemiology Unit, over 17,900 cases have been reported from Colombo, over 13,700 cases have been reported from Gampaha and over 7,600 cases have been reported from Kandy.