The first SAARC Annual meeting on Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) held at Galle Face Hotel under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena, today (31).
During the meeting, the attention was drawn regarding the strategies to reduce non communicable diseases, implementing policies, opportunity to share the initiatives taken by member countries and their experience in implementing them. The meeting will be held on today and tomorrow in Colombo.
Many initiatives are introduced by World Health Organization (WHO) to many countries to control and manage these non communicable diseases which occur due to genetic, physical and socio habits. Its significance is that mainly low and middle income countries have been exposed to these chronic NCDs including heart Disease, cancer, and respiratory difficulties and diabetes. Approximately 10 million people die across the world due to NCDs annually and it is mainly due to wrong dietary habits, lack of physical exercises, stress and indulgence in alcohol and tobacco.
WHO has identified NCDs as a hindrance to achieve sustainable development goals and to reduce NCDs by 2030, many target programmes has been initiated around the world. The WHO has expressed appreciation over the initiatives taken by Sri Lanka to reduce NCDs and stated that Sri Lanka has set a good example to other countries in controlling NCDs.
Rajitha Senaratne, Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, Fizal Cassim, Deputy Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, Janaka Sugathadasa, Secretary Ministry of Health, Secretary General of SAARC Secretariat and country representatives participated in this meeting.