Opinion Pieces Discuss Malaria Elimination Retention, 2030 Development Agenda Efforts In Sri Lanka

Nature: Eliminating malaria should not be the end of vigilance
Kamini Mendis, professor emeritus at the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, and formerly with the WHO’s Global Malaria Programme
“…Thirty-five years ago, when I did malaria research in this [rural area of Sri Lanka], villagers told me that the disease was one of their biggest problems — the other was wild elephants. The elephants are still an issue, but malaria is gone. … After years of improvements to mosquito control, disease surveillance, and case management to bring down the incidence of malaria, Sri Lanka was certified as malaria-free by the World Health Organization (WHO) three years ago this week. Now, I worry that even the medical profession has lost its memory of malaria. Remembering malaria’s devastation is one of Sri Lanka’s biggest challenges in fending it off. … As countries become malaria-free, they must retain focus on prevention and gain skills to stop its return. … As more countries eliminate malaria, those that are ‘last in line’ will inevitably be in the tropical zone. They will need to put time, money, people, and effort into remaining free of malaria, as will Sri Lanka. Keeping this ancient scourge at bay is as important as stamping it out” (9/4).
IPS: Sri Lanka Faces Major Challenges on U.N.’s 2030 Development Agenda
Ganga Tilakaratna, research fellow and head of poverty and social welfare policy research at the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka; Deshal de Mel, economic adviser in the Sri Lanka Ministry of Finance; and Zhenqian Huang, associate economic affairs officer in ESCAP’s Macroeconomic Policy and Financing for Development Division
“On the road to sustainable development, Sri Lanka provides an interesting case study. Having overcome a three-decade domestic conflict, Sri Lanka has begun its transformation towards a sustainable and resilient society. … However, Sri Lanka still faces major challenges. Improving the quality and relevance of education, providing medical treatment and care facilities for the aging population, and fighting climate disasters call for further policy support, financial mobilization, and partnership strengthening. … Sri Lanka’s efforts in mainstreaming the SDGs into its national planning and budgeting are an interesting case for the rest of the Asia-Pacific region to learn — a country does not need to wait until it achieves economic affluence before tackling social well-being and environmental health. Developing countries should incorporate social and environmental goals into their path towards prosperity” (9/4).

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