WHO SEARO Regional Director's Visit to Sri Lanka

6-9 December 2010

The Regional Director of World Health Organization Regional Office for South-East Asia (WHO SEARO), Dr Samlee Plianbangchang visited Sri Lanka from 6 9 December 2010. The main purpose was to visit the National Institute of Health Science to extend his support to make this a Regional training centre for public health workforce and to exchange ties with the Ministry of Health and WHO Country Office for Sri Lanka. RDs last visit to Sri Lanka was in April 2008 to launch and open the Public Health Lounge in Colombo.


Dr Samlee made a courtesy call on Hon. Minister of Health on 7th December 2010.



Thereafter he visited the NIHS in Kalutara and addressed the gathering where he stressed the importance of Public Health and the need for such public health training centres in the region with particular emphasis on the yeomen service this institute has provided for over 80 years. RD jointly launched a website for NIHS with Hon. Lalith Dissanayake, Deputy Minister of Health and also inaugurated the Public Health Museum, the first one of its kind in the region which gives an overview into the rich history of public health in Sri Lanka. As a follow up to the NIHS visit, a mission from SEARO is scheduled for mid January 2011 to look into utilizing the institute as a regional public health trainings centre and designation of the institute as a WHO Collaborating Centre, in future.


Dr Samlee also had a meeting with members of the Lankaphein, the advocacy body for public health issues and education in Sri Lanka. He pledged WHOs support through the country office for the efficient functioning of Lankaphein.


Dr Samlee visited the WHO Country Office for Sri Lanka and met all staff. He reviewed the areas of support that was requested by the Hon Minister of Health during his recent visit to SEARO and provided guidance on the role the country office would have to play in this regard.