Sri Lanka offers to host South Asia medical college
ECONOMYNEXT, – Sri Lanka has offered to host a South Asian medical college in line with a regional university already operating in India, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said Saturday.
"Sri Lanka is happy to take the leadership in this timely move," the minister told a meeting of health ministers from the eight-member South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) at Mount Lavinia.
The government of President Maithripala Sirisena is committed to freedom of education.
Minister Senaratne also called for collective action to deal with the spread disease within the region which has a high concentration of TB patients.
Almost a third of the world’s TB cases are reported in South Asia which records an annual incidence of 3.1 million, he said.
"It is important to note that one to 4 percent of the new cases are Multi Drug Resistant TB cases and 25 percent of the estimated global TB deaths had occurred in the region.
"The strategic interventions that are being discussed to address reducing the burden of disease due to TB is of paramount importance," he said.
The region had partial success in dealing with malaria with both Sri Lanka and the Maldives declared malaria free by the World Health Organisation, but risks remained due to migration.
"Whilst health assessments for migrants are important it is equally important to see how we extend access to care and treatment in the context of providing universal health coverage.
"Our focus on the need to improve sanitation is highly relevant as it is also an indirect social determinant of many a health challenge."
SAARC groups Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. (COLOMBO, July 29, 2017)