DG Health boasts of Lanka’s 0.9 percent birth rate!


By Don Asoka Wijewardena

The UN Population Fund held its sessions in New York recently. Director General Health Services Dr. Palitha Maheepala speaks at the sessions in New York City representing Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka’s child mortality and the maternity rates were now on par with the advanced countries and 99 per cent of Sri Lankan babies were delivered by trained medical staff, Director General Health Services Dr. Palitha Maheepala said recently in the US.

Addressing an International Seminar on Population and Development held in New York, he said though Sri Lanka’s total population was 20.3 million at the moment, the country was able to control its population growth to 0.9 per cent.

Dr. Maheepala pointed out that Sri Lanka had been able to provide free health care services and as a result the average life span of women had reached 78 years and men 69 years. Some of the deadly diseases had been totally eradicated in the country. But, there was an upward trend in non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney failure and various forms of cancers.

Dr. Maheepala added that the UN Population Fund had been of immense value to the control of population growth. Sri Lanka should be proud of achieving its population goals, he said.

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