Hon. Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine attended the 9th World Health Summit (WHS) which commenced under the patronage of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, on Sunday 15th October 2017. World Health Summit is held once a year, and it is recognized as the world’s most prominent Forum for addressing global health issues. This time, the Summit was held from 15 -17 October 2017, and featured over 40 sessions and has brought together stakeholders and decision makers from different sectors, representing 100 countries.
Minister Rajitha Senaratne, was invited to participate at a panel discussion on ‘Non-communicable diseases’, chaired by Andres Jack – Editor of the Financial Times. During the discussion, Minister Senaratne explained the various measures Sri Lanka has taken so far, to reduce the percentage of non communicable diseases by 1/3 of its current percentage by year 2020. Her Royal Highness Princess Dina Mirad of Jordan, Katie Dain – the CEO of NCD Alliance United Kingdom, Gauden Galez – Director, WHO Regional Office for Europe, Joseph Kibachio – Head of the Division of Non Communicable Diseases(Kenya) were among the other Speakers who participated at this panel discussion.
The political commitment and the strategies implemented by the Government of Sri Lanka in eradicating non communicable diseases were highly commended by the Speakers and the participants of the event. It was further mentioned that Sri Lanka should be considered as a positive example by all the member States, for its successful approach in overcoming persistent health challenges of the world. The Summit also facilitated a special session to appreciate the initiatives taken by pioneers from all continents who have developed new solutions for the big challenges in public health and social medicine. Dr. Kalana Maduwage - Senior lecturer at Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, was also given an opportunity at this session, to present his invention on detecting snake venom in patients’ blood.
Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Germany, Eng. Karunasena Hettiarachchi accompanied the Hon. Minister, Specialist Dr. (Mrs) Sujatha Senaratne – Private Secretary to the Hon. Minister and Dr. S. Subasinghe – Consultant to the Hon. Minister to the Summit. The Sri Lanka delegation was successful in meeting several key government officials and representatives from the industry, who commended the positive developments of Sri Lanka in overcoming its major health related challenges.