“As two Asian countries having long standing strong socio-cultural, political and especially religious ties dating back to many millennia, Sri Lanka has always regarded Thailand as one of its closest friends”, Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said.
Minister De Silva was addressing the National Health Assembly held in Thailand. He said that the world is well aware of the tremendous and most impressive advances Thailand has made in health development during the past few decades. The achievements made in morbidity, mortality and life expectancy are truly impressive.
“In recent years all are aware of the great success that Thailand has achieved in her HIV/AIDS prevention work. The whole world views the reversal of the epidemic in Thailand as a great achievement and a source of inspiration to others. It is encouraging to note that all the good work done by the Thai Government to improve the economy and health has reversed your brain drain encouraging and enabling health professionals to return to your country, Minister De Silva said. Sri Lanka has achieved many advances similar to Thailand in the health sector. Successive Governments have considered health and education as investments for building a healthy and literate workforce which will support the future social and economic development of the country. Therefore historically Sri Lanka has maintained a strong policy of providing health and education absolutely free to its people, Minister De Silva pointed out.
“According to Minister De Silva, Sri Lanka has always prided itself with respect to our commitment to social justice and equity and we had a number of successes, the achievements in health and education being two of the more prominent examples. Thailand is also a country we have admired for a long time for the premium that Thailand places on these same values. Sri Lanka has been able to control and contain immunisable and certain communicable diseases which were significant public health problems in the past. Malaria, Leprosy, Filaria and Iodine deficiency diseases are in the elimination stage while Polio has already been eradicated. HIV remains to be low prevalent through effective broad based control measures used, Minister De Silva added.
Source: Nadira GUNATILLEKE http://www.dailynews.lk/