Ministry of Health Sri Lanka

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32nd Health Ministers’ Meeting and 67th session of the WHO’s Regional Committee for SEARO in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Hon.Lalith Dissanayake, Deputy Minister of Health of Sri Lanka accompanied by a senior Official level delegation represented Sri Lanka at the 32nd Health Ministers’ Meeting and 67th session of the WHO’s Regional Committee for South East Asia Region (SEARO) in Dhaka, Bangladesh from 9-12 September 2014.


The two Meetings were inaugurated by Bangladesh Prime Minister H.E Sheikh Hasina on 9 September 2014. The 32nd Health Ministers’ Meeting included Ministerial level participation of SEARO member states from Bangladesh, Bhutan, North Korea, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Timor-Leste and Senior Advisor level participation from Thailand and Indonesia.

The 67th session of the Regional Committee discussed some of the important issues related to the region such as "Covering every birth and death: improving civil registration and vital statistics", 'traditional medicine', 'strengthening emergency and essential surgical care and an aesthesia as a component of universal health coverage', 'viral hepatitis' and 'regional strategy on strengthening health workforce education and training' . Dhaka declaration on vector-borne diseases which spells out steps to control and eliminate vector-borne diseases in the region was adopted as the outcome of the meetings. Special emphasis was given on the need to fight vector-borne diseases like malaria, kala-azar, dengue, and lymphatic filariasis.

A sideline session on Ebola virus also featured in the four day long meetings. In a special session on Autism, Ms. Saima Wazed Hossain, Chairperson of the National Advisory Committee on Autism in Bangladesh and the daughter of Prime Minister H.E Sheikh Hasina launched a global initiative to address the challenges of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) in the South-East Asia Region. During the meeting, Ms.Hossain who is an Expert of WHO on mental Health was honoured with the "Excellence Award" of the WHO in recognition to her efforts in the field of autism. Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General, and Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director for South-East Asia, were also present with WHO experts at both the meetings.

During his stay in Dhaka, Hon. Deputy Minister of Health called on Hon. Dr. Harsha Vardhan, Minister of Health of the Government of India and discussed on a range of issues connected with health in Sri Lanka and India and of the strengthening of collaboration between the two countries in Heath sector development to counter common challenges.

Hon. Deputy Minister also met with Managing Director of the Essential Drug Company Ltd, counterpart of State Pharmaceutical Corporation of Sri Lanka to discuss matters related to the implementation of the MOU on Procurement of Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka which was signed on 23rd June 2014 in Dhaka.

Sri Lanka delegation to the WHO SEARO Meetings included Mr.A.G Abyesekera, Actg.High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in Bangladesh, Dr.H.R.U. Indrasiri, Advisor to Hon. Minister of Health, Dr. A.J Lakkumar Fernando, District General Hospital Negombo, Dr. (Mrs) Susei Perera, Director, Ministry of Health and Mrs.Sesath Thambugala, First Secretary, Sri Lanka High Commission in Dhaka .

High Commission of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh .

13 September 2014



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No. 385, Rev. Baddegama Wimalawansa Thero Mawatha,
Colombo 10, Sri Lanka.
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(+94)112 694033, (+94)112 675011, (+94)112 675449, (+94)112 693493, (+94)112 675280, (+94)112 669192.




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