The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared Sri Lanka a filaria-free country, with a certificate to this effect set to be awarded to it this week.
Director of South Asian Affairs at WHO, Poonam Singh - who is scheduled to visit the country on 21 July - will present the certificate to Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne.
Marking significant progress in the battle against neglected tropical diseases in the South Asian region, the Maldives and Sri Lanka have eliminated lymphatic filariasis, a disease which has crippled people for decades, forcing them to lead a life of stigmatization, discrimination and poverty, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a report last month.
Around 120 million filaria patients have been reported from 72 countries in the world so far. One-third of these cases have been reported from India. The rest are reported from South Asian, African and Latin American countries.