New WHO Representative Dr Jacob Kumaresan Presents Letter of Credentials to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka

Dr Jacob Kumaresan presented the Letter of Credentials to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, on 23 June. Dr Kumaresan recently assumed office as the WHO Representative to Sri Lanka. Previously he was Executive Director, WHO Office at the United Nations in New York from 2011-15. Earlier he was Director of WHO Centre for Health Development in Kobe, Japan from 2008-11 and President of the International Trachoma Initiative, a non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating the leading cause of preventable blindness from 2003-07. He joined World Health Organization headquarters in 1992 where he eventually headed the Stop TB Partnership. He worked with the governments of Zimbabwe and Botswana during 1980s. Dr Kumaresan received his MD degree from University of Madras, India and MPH and DrPH degrees from Tulane University, USA.

National Summit on Tobacco: Towards a Tobacco Free Sri Lanka: Eliminating Tobacco as a Public Health Problem

Delivering Regional Director Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh Message at National Tobacco Summit

Commitments and actions at the highest level was seen as HE President Honourable Maithripala Sirisena inaugurated the National Summit on Tobacco: Towards a Tobacco Free Sri Lanka. The august presence of Honourable Health and Indigenous Medicine Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne, Dr Nimal Siripala, Leader of Opposition in parliament was a testimony of the support Tobacco control receives in Sri Lanka. Regional Director Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh’s message on this occasion was delivered by Dr Arvind Mathur; Ag WHO Representative to Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Fact Sheet on Global Youth Tobacco Survey was handed over by Dr Dhirendra Sinha, Regional Advisor to HE President as he released the same.

Winners of the 2015 World No Tobacco Day Awards in the South-East Asia Region

Every year, the World Health Organization recognizes individuals or organizations from the six regions for their accomplishments in the area of tobacco control such as research, capacity building, promotion of policy or legislation and advocacy to enhance tobacco control. The World No-Tobacco Day 2015 Award Winners from the South-East Asia Region are:

WHO sending in more medical supplies and assisting the arrival of foreign medical team support for earthquake-ravaged Nepal

WHO/Nawinda L.

WHO is surging additional medical supplies and health workers into the earthquake-affected region of Nepal to help the Government of Nepal provide rapid medical assistance to the thousands who have been injured in Saturday’s disaster. A surge team comprising of an emergency operation commander, two epidemiologists and two logisticians have been deployed to strengthen WHO support.


Award of Excellence in Health Emergency Management – 2015, Sri Lanka

The development of human resources and capacity building in disaster management require the dedicated contribution and services of professionals who have contributed their valuable input, time, and experience.

Prevention and Control of Rabies in SAARC Countries

SAARC countries comprise 3% of the world's area and contain 21% (around 1.7 billion) of the world's total human population. Rabies remains a disease of public health importance in the region with more than 1.5 billion people at risk of rabies and 45% of global burden of human rabies.

9th PHEDMa Training Course Conducted in Polgolla

The Ninth National Training Course in Public Health Emergency and Disaster Management (PHEDMa) was conducted from 20-29 July 2015 at National Institute of Cooperative Development (NICD), Polgolla.

Sri Lanka Holds First National Refresher Training Course on Health Emergencies

The First National Refresher Training Course on Health Emergency Management was held on 13-14 July at the Kingsbury Hotel in Colombo.

WHO Sri Lanka Reviews Preparedness Capacity to Emergencies

The WHO Country Office conducted a review of its emergency preparedness and response capacity on 10 July at the Galle Face Hotel in Colombo.

WHO Sri Lanka Conducts Annual Retreat

The WHO Country Office of Sri Lanka conducted its annual retreat 3 – 5 July in Habarana, North-Central Province.

Seasonal Influenza in Sri Lanka

Seasonal influenza viruses circulate and cause disease in humans every year. In Sri Lanka, for the last few years, it has been generally observed during April to June and again in November to January. It spreads from person-to-person through sneezing, coughing, or touching contaminated surfaces. Seasonal influenza viruses can cause mild to severe illness and even death, particularly in some high-risk individuals. Persons at increased risk for severe disease includes pregnant women, the very young and very old, immune-compromised people, and people with chronic underlying medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes mellitus and heart diseases.

Eighth PHEDMa Training Course Conducted in Kandy

The Eighth National Training Course in Public Health Emergency and Disaster Management (PHEDMa) was conducted from 25-29 May at the Postgraduate Institute of Science (PGIS), University of Peradeniya in Kandy. The training course was organised by Health Emergency and Disaster Management Training Centre (HEDMaTC) in collaboration with WHO and the Ministry of Health and Indigenous Medicine. A total of 14 participants attended the 5 day residential program.

The World Immunization Week (WIW), 24-30 April 2015

Immunization is one of the most successful and cost-effective health interventions, the world has ever known, which prevents between 2 and 3 million deaths every year and has been protecting children against diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus, polio and measles for many years.

World Health Day 2015 Photo Exhibition

HE President of Socialist Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka Hon. Maithripala Sirisena inaugurated the World Health Day 2015 Photo Exhibition

The commitment at the highest level of Government of Sri Lanka to ensure safe food was evident with presence of HE President Hon. Maithripala Sirisena who inaugurated the photo exhibition on Food Safety on the World Health Day in presence of Honourable Dr Rajitha Senarathe, Minister of Health and Indigenous Medicine, Honourable Mr A.H.M Fowzi, Minister of Disaster Management, Honourable Karu Jayasuriya, Minister of Buddhsasana and Public Administration and Dr Arvind Mathur, WHO Representative a.i.


World No Tobacco day Awards 2015

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims - 23 November 2014


International Congress of the Asian Society Against Dementia - 14-16 November 2014

World Diabetes Day - 14 November 2014

Recent Publications

NCDs in a lower-middle-income country

CKDu Literature Repository


WHO Sri Lanka Newsletter

Country Cooperation Strategy 2012-17

WHO Sri Lanka Highlights

Emergency and Humanitarian Action

WHO Sri Lanka Health Repository

Contact Us

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