Cancers are as common as common cold in Sri Lanka- Health Minister


By Don Asoka Gunawardena    

Royal College, Colombo, held a seminar on ‘Mathin Thora Samajayak’ 2014 at the college premises recently. Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena donated a stock of books to the college. Minister Sirisena handing over the books to Royal College Principal Upali Gunasakera, while Health Secretary Dr. Nihal Jayathilaka and Additional Secretary to the Ministry K. A. S. Keeragala look on.

Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena warns that various cancers have become as common as the common cold in Sri Lank, He attributes the situation to alcohol consumption and smoking.

About 65 persons died of smoking-related diseases a day in Sri Lanka and 21,000 persons died due to smoking annually, the Minister said.

It was shocking that around 280, 000 persons died due to alcohol and smoking annually in Sri Lanka, he said at a seminar, Mathin Thora Santayana, (Society Without Intoxicants) at Royal College recently.

He pointed out that in a certain village in Anuradupura people spend Rs.10.3 million annually on smoking. Heart attacks, paralysis, impotence, kidney diseases, hypertension and other more deadly diseases were caused by smoking, he warned.

Sri Lanka recorded around 1,200 new births per day. About 1,000 people died. Of 1,000 deaths about 600 were due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs), Minister Sirisena added.

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