SRI LANKA: On track to eliminate malaria

Sri Lanka, once among Asia’s worst affected nations for malaria, is now close to eliminating it. The sharp drop in the number of reported cases to 196 in 2007 — with no deaths — demonstrates that the national malaria control program has been effective even in the traditionally disease-prone northern districts.

About four million people, a fifth of the population, dispersed over the largely rural dry zone are still vulnerable and could serve as a reservoir for the malaria parasite. The Health Ministry is seeking an estimated $40 million in donor aid and government counterpart funds to cover a five-year elimination program in seven of the island’s nine provinces. While overseas aid has helped bridge the shortfall in government expenditure, the low rate of malaria incidence threatens to undermine foreign financing.”

Source: AlertNet

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