Sri Lanka Police Conduct Symposium on Road Safety with the Support of WHO

October 29, 2019, Colombo, Sri Lanka A ‘Symposium on Achieving Sustainable Road Safety in Sri Lanka: An update on legislation and law enforcement’ was conducted on October 19, 2019, in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

World Polio Day

October 24, 2019, Colombo, Sri Lanka World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, the Ministry of Health, Nutrition, and Indigenous Medicine, and Rotary International celebrate World Polio Day on October 24, 2019.

Preventing Dengue in Sri Lanka

9 July 2019, Colombo, Sri Lanka. It is important to take preventive action to eliminate mosquito breeding sites and protect against mosquito bites to prevent dengue.

During the past few months, an increased trend in the number of dengue cases have been reported in Sri Lanka. From January to June 2019, Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine reported 25,216 dengue cases. An increased number of cases have been reported from Colombo and Gampaha Districts.

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Emergencies and disasters

Emergency and humanitarian action


Vacancies in the WHO SriLanka Office

Surveillance and outbreak alert

Information about disease outbreaks

WHO reform

Addressing public health challenges in the 21st century


Sri Lanka Celebrates the Inaugural World Food Safety Day

24 June 2019, Colombo, Sri Lanka. The first ever United Nations World Food Safety Day was marked in Colombo by the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO). The national event which took place at the BMICH in Colombo in-line with the global theme “Food Safety, everyone’s business,” was held under the patronage of the Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, Dr Rajitha Senaratne.

Sri Lanka eliminates measles

Sri Lanka has eliminated measles, interrupting transmission of the indigenous virus that causes the killer childhood disease.

Sri Lanka is the fourth country in WHO South-East Asia Region, after Bhutan, Maldives and Timor-Leste, to eliminate measles and control rubella, a flagship priority programme of WHO in the Region, ahead of the 2020 regional target.

Sri Lanka discusses the way forward to achieve SDG Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well- being for all at all ages.

22 June 2019, Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka. A stakeholder consultation was held recently to discuss Sri Lanka’s efforts at developing the National Action Plan for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. Organized by the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine (MoHNIM) and World Health Organization (WHO), the meeting brought together stakeholders responsible for advancing the work towards achieving SDG 3, discuss Sri Lanka’s current position, obtain strategic directions to achieve the targets and identify policy support needed to accelerate the progress.

Sri Lanka Reviews its Health Sector Response to the Easter Sunday Events

18 June 2019, Colombo, Sri Lanka. The Government of Sri Lanka conducted a Review of the country’s health sector response to the Easter Sunday events of April 2019.

The devastating Easter Sunday explosions in Sri Lanka left over 250 dead and 500 wounded in several locations across the country. In the immediate aftermath of the explosions, an enormous responsibility was placed on the country’s health sector to care for the injured, the survivors as well as the dead.

WHO Conducts National Assessment of Rehabilitation Services

The Government of Sri Lanka has a long established commitment to the provision of Rehabilitation services going back to the 1950’s when the first Sri Lanka physiotherapists and occupational therapists began working. More recently, the government supported rehabilitation through development of National Guidelines for Rehabilitation in Sri Lanka 2014-2018, and included it in the National Strategic Framework for the Development of Health Services 2016-2025.

Universal Health Coverage Day 2018

To mark this year's Universal Health Coverage Day, WHO Sri Lanka teamed up with the UNFPA and the Sri Lanka Medical Association to hold a briefing for the press and electronic media. A major theme of this years campaign was a call for stronger, more equitable health systems to achieve universal health coverage, leaving no one behind.

FAQ’s about antibiotic resistance

World Health Day 2017. Depression: Let's talk

"Each November, World Antibiotic Awareness Week (WAAW) aims to increase global awareness of antibiotic resistance and to encourage best practices among the general public, health workers and policy makers to avoid the further emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance.

WHO Sri Lanka Country Office commits to going Green

After taking on the “Walk the Talk” Global Challenge in 2018 the WHO Country Office for Sri Lanka has set itself a new target for 2019 , partnering with the Green Building Council of Sri Lanka, to make the office green and sustainable.

WHO Working with Partners to Help Journalist Better Report on Road Safety.

Coinciding with the release of the Global Report, WHO Sri Lanka, the Sri Lanka Medical Association and Institute for the Prevention of Injury and Violence conducted a series of workshops for journalist on how to better report road traffic accidents and their aftermath.


A major milestone in Sri Lanka’s progress towards “Health for All” was the international conference UHC TA:lk. Experts from all over the world gathered in Colombo to discuss Primary Health Care strengthening and ending Tuberculosis & AIDS in Sri Lanka.

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Two new WHO supported Reports into School Health and Hospital Service Availability and Readiness launched

WHO Sri Lanka has launched two important reports, the Global School Health Survey 2016 (GSHS) and the Service Availability and Readiness Assessment survey 2018 (SARA).

Both reinforce the WHO’s role in providing the country’s key decision makers with evidence based recommendations.

The GSHS is a WHO funded collaborative project between WHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and highlighted three main areas where attention and action is needed – mental health, school health services and the risk factors surrounding Non Communicable Diseases.

SARA used a WHO developed tool specifically adapted for Sri Lanka by the Country Office and placed the spotlight on the availability of essential drugs and importantly at the readiness and availability of services in the private sector.

Both reports can be found here:

The next step for Maternal and Newborn Care

Maternal and Newborn Care Programme in Sri Lanka is now focusing on further improvement of quality of MNH services with the objective of achieving SDG targets and reducing morbidities among mothers and babies. WHO together with Family Health Bureau of the Ministry of health and UNICEF has introduced ‘ Point of Care Quality Improvement” techniques for hospital staff engaging in MNH services. The third national capacity building session was held in Anuradhapura on 17 and 18 of October for hospital staff from North Central province and Puttalam district with the participation of 65 staff.

Conference on Fourth Industrial Revolution & Healthcare

24th -26th October 2018 - Kingsbury Colombo

The 4th Industrial revolution is a societal transformation and a radical shift that technologies have made possible. It’s about an emerging set of industrial technologies as we will soon witness require combinatory capacities. A disruption and blurring of the lines between industry sectors.

Launch of Sri Lanka Accident Data Management System (SLADMS) - 07th September 2018, Colombo

Road Safety is a global public health priority. The SDG 3 target (Good Health and Well Being) aims to halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic crashes by 2020 while SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) relates to providing access to sustainable transport system for all, improving road safety and expanding public transport The UN General Assembly proclaimed 2011 - 2020 as the Decade of Action for road safety.

Sri Lanka has Successfully Controlled Rubella – Certified by WHO

“The WHO South East Asia Regional Verification Committee for Measles Elimination & Rubella Control in its meeting in August 2018 concluded that the transmission of rubella and congenital rubella syndrome has been controlled in Sri Lanka. This success is due to the strong leadership of the Government and the commitment of health workers under the technical guidance of the Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health leading to an efficient vaccine preventable disease surveillance and equitable access to immunization with high coverage.”

WHO Sri Lanka's Peacebuilding and Violence Prevention training programme, Manohari, continues with a five day training workshop for mental health workers in the Northern Provence.

As part of the WHO’s involvement in the Peacebuilding process in Sri Lanka a programme of workshops to build conflict resolution skills in Community Leaders is being undertaken throughout the country.

World Health Day 2018 - Colombo: The perfect place to mark the day.

World Health Day 2018 was made extra special by the decision of the Director General to travel to Sri Lanka to spend the big day here. Dr Tedros picked Sri Lanka because of its long standing to commitment to Universal health Coverage, the theme of this years event.

World TB Day 2018

Sri Lanka observed World TB Day with an awareness walk at Independence Square under the patronage of the Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Seneratne, followed by a conference on Sri Lanka’s fight against TB.

A Future in Data - WHO’s Contribution to the Success of #SDGDataLk

#SDGDataLk, a two-day symposium (March 20-21, 2018) on enhancing data for a sustainable Sri Lanka was organized by the Government and the United Nations in Sri Lanka with the strategic partnership of the Select Committee of Parliament on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Department of Census and Statistics, CITRA Social Innovation Lab, LIRNEasia, and Pulse Lab Jakarta. The event was attended by approximately 500 participants inclusive of multiple stakeholders from the Government, UN Agencies, Private Sector, Civil Society Organizations, Academia and Data and Research Organizations. Twenty-four esteemed local and international resource persons collectively led ten sessions over the period of two days with vital discussions on using data for SDGs.

WCO Sri Lanka conducts a Staff Development & Learning (SDL) on Universal Health Coverage

WCO Sri Lanka conducted a Staff Development and Learning activity on Universal Health Coverage on the 8th of March 2018. The activity aimed to create awareness among the staff on the concepts and principles of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) as well as promote good appreciation of WHO’s work in achieving “Health for All, everyone, everywhere”.

WHO Sri Lanka unites to raise awareness of violence against women and girls

By learning more about the issue, opening up communication channels, supporting those affected and linking women to services, we all can play a role in addressing violence against women and girls. Make a change by talking about gender-based violence and creating stigma-free environments. Let's commit to building a future free of violence. It is our responsibility!

Looking inward: enhancing emotional intelligence to build a better work environment

How often are we aware of our own emotions? Are we living in the present moment? How can we use the concepts of emotional intelligence and empathy to build a healthier and more productive work environment?

Integrating traditional and complementary medicine to promote health and well-being

23 November 2017
WHO is a collaborating partner of the International Symposium on Traditional, Complementary and Indigenous Medicine organised by the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine. The symposium provided an interdisciplinary platform to discuss the most recent research evidence, innovations and challenges relating to integrating evidence-based traditional medicine practices for health promotion and disease prevention and management.

World Antibiotic Awareness Week, 13-19 November 2017

Antibiotic Resistance is rising at an alarming pace. Systematic overuse and misuse of antibiotics for human health and food production has resulted in greater resistance to antibiotics.Without urgent action, we are heading towards a future in which infections and minor injuries could once again kill.

For more information:

Promoting access to assistive products to support the elderly and disabled lead dignified lives

K M Raja is a 51-year-old Sri Lankan working in the agricultural sector. However, a farm injury in 1997 left his lower legs paralyzed, putting his agri-business and the future of his three young children at risk.

7,000 newborns die every day, despite steady decrease in under-five mortality, new report says

At current trends, 30 million newborns will die within first 28 days of life between 2017 and 2030. Every day in 2016, 15,000 children died before their fifth birthday, 46 per cent of them – or 7,000 babies – died in the first 28 days of life, according to a new UN report.

WHO helps strengthen health-system emergency preparedness following floods

Health facilities and staff are essential lifelines for communities during emergencies. The May 2017 floods in Sri Lanka highlighted the importance of developing stronger health systems that can continue to provide effective medical care in emergencies and disasters.

Faster diagnosis key to fighting TB in Sri Lanka: TB review mission reveals

Prasad* is a 19-year-old student studying engineering at a local university. Prasad had been sick with a persistent cough for more than two weeks.

Sri Lanka to receive new international support on tobacco control

Colombo, 28 September 2017
Sri Lanka has been selected to receive dedicated international support through the United Nations to take action to reduce tobacco use. Through the “FCTC 2030” project, Sri Lanka will receive assistance to undertake a government-wide programme of work to strengthen tobacco control. The project, to run for five-years, will bring international support to Sri Lanka from the World Health Organization (WHO), the WHO FCTC Secretariat and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

WHO and MoH hold national consultation on regulating marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to children

Marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to children took center stage at a national consultation organized by WHO and Ministry of Health (MoH) on 18 August.

Sri Lanka scales up efforts against dengue

Sri Lanka is witnessing an increase in dengue cases this year. Over 100,000 cases have been reported, with a significant number from the western provinces.

President inaugurates WHO stall at Colombo International Book Fair

His Excellency, President Maithripala Sirisena, inaugurated the WHO stall at the Colombo International Book Fair 2017. The Book Fair happens every year and has island-wide participation, with more than 400 book stalls attracting many visitors. The WHO Sri Lanka Office has been participating in the fair for the last 17 years. It is an invaluable opportunity to reach out to the general public and provides access to a wealth of health information.

WHO supports health emergency response to floods and landslides

Since 25 May 2017, heavy rainfall due to the southwest monsoon resulted in severe flooding and landslides affecting 15 out of 25 districts in Sri Lanka. As of 31 May, the government has declared a total of 604,713 people have been affected by the adverse weather conditions.

Sri Lanka launches National Strategic Plan for Combating Antimicrobial Resistance

Sri Lanka launched its National Strategic Plan for Combating Antimicrobial Resistance in the presence of the Hon. Dr Rajitha Senaratne, Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine and Hon. Ammer Ali Seyed Mohammad Sihabdeen, State Minister, Rural Economy.

Joint external evaluation on Sri Lanka’s International Health Regulations Core Competencies

A Joint External Evaluation (JEE) to evaluate Sri Lanka’s International Health Regulations (IHR) core capacities to prevent, detect and respond to public health threats is taking place from 19 – 23 June 2017.

Sri Lanka’s National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol conferred with prestigious World No Tobacco Day Award

In recognition of the outstanding achievements in tobacco control, the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA) in Sri Lanka was conferred with the prestigious WHO South-East Asia Region’s “World No Tobacco Day Award” on 31 May 2017.

Sri Lankan Dr Mahendra Wijesuriya appointed to Global NCD Alliance board

Sri Lankan Dr Mahendra Arunashanthi Wijesuriya, Executive Director, NCD Alliance Lanka, was appointed to the first ever Global NCD Alliance board. He is one of the 13 board members recognized as global leaders in the field of NCD prevention and control.

Renewed efforts in Sri Lanka’s battle against leprosy

Hendala Leprosy Hospital harks back to a bygone era. It was the first leprosy hospital built in South Asia in 1708. Today, the original funeral carts used for the burial of leprosy patients stand outside the hospital, serving as a stark reminder of leprosy’s dark past and the forced separation of leprosy patients.

World Health Day 2017. Depression: Let's talk

This year World Health Day focuses on ‘depression’. Globally, around 350 million people of all ages, from all walks of life, suffer from depression. It impacts on people’s ability to carry out even the simplest everyday tasks, with sometimes devastating consequences for relationships with family and friends.

Country Cooperation Strategy | 2018–2023

WHO Sri-Lanka annual report, 2017 

Country Office for Sri-Lanka (‎2018-05)‎

Emergency and Humanitarian Action

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