‘Govt will strengthen free health service’
President stresses need to guard against
*Students, the most vulnerable to NCD
The government always stands to safeguard and strengthen the free
health service while implementing qualitative and timely measures such
as free education, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said.
The President was addressing a meeting at Temple Trees yesterday to
create awareness among the people on leading a healthy lifestyle and
forming a wholesome society. The event was jointly organised by the
Health Ministry and the World Health Organisation to prevent non -
communicable diseases (NCD) among Sri Lankans, which have become a major
reason for the increase in deaths.
Health Ministry statistics reveal that NCDs such as heart attacks,
strokes, hypertension, diabetes and cancer claim around 70 percent of
The President said that everyone has to pay attention to lead a
healthy lifestyle to prevent major NCDs.
The government has taken every possible step through the Health
Ministry to protect people from NCDs, President Rajapaksa said
However, the public are also duty bound to take care of their own
health and lead a healthy lifestyle, he said.
President Rajapaksa said the government allocates millions of funds
annually to provide health facilities. "Earlier, much attention was paid
to communicable diseases and epidemics. However, as a result of busy
lifestyles in a competitive world, attention has to be paid to prevent
NCDs. Unlike the present day, in the past, NCDs were reported mainly
from urban areas. But NCDs are reported from almost all parts of the
country today," he said. President Rajapaksa said that students are not
free to attend extra curricular activities such as sports.
"Most students go even to nearby schools by bus or school van.
Schoolchildren take fast food as a result of the busy lifestyle of their
parents. We have to play a pivotal role to be safe from NCDs," President
Rajapaksa said. The President noted that it has been observed that more
people are paying attention to their health. "The recently constructed
jogging tracks are popular among the people. The law cannot prevent
people from NCDs but it has to be achieved by individual dedication and
determination," he said.
The media is duty bound to educate the people on leading a healthy
lifestyle. Certain media criticise certain positive trends in a
sarcastic manner, the President said.