Increasing dengue fatality puts SL in top three

by Dilanthi Jayamanne

Experts, at the South East Asian Regional Meeting on Dengue and Chikungunya, rated Sri Lanka, Thailand and Indonesia as nations where the dengue fatality rate was increasing. The meeting was held in Chiang Rai, Thailand a few week’s ago, Chief of the Public Health Department, Colombo Municipal Council, Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam, who Co-Chaired the meeting said yesterday.

The group recommended the enhancement of capacity building in diagnostics with the inclusion of more laboratories to carry out early diagnostic investigations for quick identification of dengue patients and that dengue control be recognized as a Millennium Development Goal.

Other recommendations had been to include dengue control in the Country Cooperation Strategy, to increase the number of entomologists in the countries of the region to prepare guidelines for clinicians, to strengthen the response to dengue outbreaks, to lessen the risk communication and use of chemicals for dengue control work


There was a recommendation for an ‘Eco-System,’ approach to control Dengue. This meant that dengue control would be made easier by getting rid of mosquito breeding places through proper environmental administration, solid waste management and rain water management.

Dr. Kariyawasam said the delegates had also noted with satisfaction that the highest authority in Sri Lanka, the President of the Country was involved in dengue control. The meeting also emphasised the role of the community, NGOs and the private sector in providing the manpower and logistics for dengue control campaigns.

The meeting was attended by managers of dengue control campaigns from ten countries in the region. The Sri Lankan delegation included himself, Dr. Nimalka Pannila Hetti, Head of The National dengue Coordination Unit, Dr. W. A. K. Wijesinghe, Regional Director of Health Services, Kegalle, Dr. Hasitha Tissera, Consultant Epidemiologist and the National Programme officer of WHO Sri Lanka, Dr. Supriya Warusawitharana.

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