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ADB funds to help Sri Lanka tackle surge in ‘lifestyle’ diseases

Sri Lanka has seen a decline in polio, malaria and filariasis in the past two decades but there has been a rise in non-communicable diseases such as cancer and heart disease, driven by lifestyle changes.

This is putting more pressure on the country’s health system.

The package will help Sir Lanka provide more responsive health services to provinces that are under-served and also strengthen skills within the sector.

Brian Chin, ADB social sector specialist, said: “Sri Lanka has made impressive gains in ensuring access to and quality of health services for all.

“But challenges remain, including a dramatic increase in non-communicable diseases, which are causing a surge in demand for health services and rises in costs.”

The project will upgrade 135 medical care units and divisional hospitals in four provinces, providing new equipment, emergency treatment, dental and other clinical services.

It will also refurbish 127 field health centres and provide equipment and staff training.

The total cost of the project is $60m of which the ADB is providing a grant of $12.5m and a concessional loan of $37.5m.

The government is putting $10m towards the total cost of the project, which is due for completion at the end of November 2023.

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