Future cities: Urban Change and Healthy Ageing in Sri Lanka

At an ancient Buddhist temple in Sri Lanka, modernity has made its mark: Leading to the temple’s entrance a ramp makes it possible for the elderly and disabled to join the many other devotees offering their prayers.

Turning the page on disability in Sri Lanka

“In the darkest period of my life it was a disability allowance of SLR 3000 per month from the Department of Social Services that was a pillar of support for our family,” says K M Raja with a wistful look in his eyes. The farm injury the 51-year-old Sri Lankan suffered in 1997 left his lower limbs paralysed, jeopardising his agri-business and the future of his three small children.

One Step at a Time: Reversing Sri Lanka's Diabetes Epidemic

At just 14 years of age Kusum became the primary caregiver in her family. Her mother Binari died leaving behind Kusum, her three younger siblings and their diabetic father, Siridasa. For the family, who live in a small town in Sri Lanka’s North-West, the future was ominous.

Sri Lanka launches South-East Asia’s first NCD Alliance

Sri Lanka inaugurated South-East Asia’s first NCD Alliance on the eve of the “Sixty-Ninth Session of the WHO Regional Committee for South-East Asia.” The formation of a NCD Alliance was a key recommendation of the NCD Global Action Plan, and the Alliance will play an instrumental role in driving the NCD agenda forward in the country.

WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia, Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh congratulated Sri Lanka “NCDs is one priority which unites all countries. We have seen a renewed commitment of our region towards NCDs through policies and programmatic interventions. We have high level political leadership on NCDs, one of those leaders is Sri Lanka.”


fact buffet

% of NCD related deaths

75 %Percentage of all deaths due to NCDs in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka NCD Country Profile 2014
pdf, 111kb

Number of deaths caused by NCDs

103 500Number of people dying of noncommunicable diseases in Sri Lanka in 2014

NCD Risk Factor Survey Sri Lanka 2015
pdf, 4.96Mb

Deaths from diabetes

>10 000Number of deaths caused by diabetes in Sri Lanka each year

Sri Lanka Country Profile Diabetes 2016
pdf, 348kb

Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) — mainly cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes and cancer — are top killers in Sri Lanka, claiming 103 500 lives each year. The four ‘major’ NCDs are caused chiefly by four behavioural risk factors: tobacco use, unhealthy diet, insufficient physical activity and harmful use of alcohol.

NCDs disproportionately affect the poor, impoverish families, and place a growing burden on health-care systems. Cost-effective interventions are available to prevent and control noncommunicable diseases and their risk factors throughout the life course. Coordinated actions are across all sectors of society required to combat NCDs, including partnerships among governments, civil society, academia, international organizations and the private sector.