Home / Healthcare/ Ministry of Health and UNFPA launch Strategic Plan for Well Woman Program in Sri Lanka

Ministry of Health and UNFPA launch Strategic Plan for Well Woman Program in Sri Lanka

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Thursday, 15 August 2019 00:00

 Dr. Nethanjalie Mapitigama from the Family Health Bureau handing over the first copy of the strategic plan to UNFPA Representative Ritsu Nacken


  • 1,136 new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed annually in Sri Lanka


Cervical cancer is the third most common type of cancer among women in Sri Lanka. It is a significant reproductive health problem, and estimates for 2018 alone shows that around 1,136 new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed annually in Sri Lanka. 

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the primary cause of cervical cancer, which is a highly contagious infection that is transmitted through sexual activity.

This is one of the conditions screened for at the Well Woman Clinics in Sri Lanka, which includes screening for hypertension, nutritional status, diabetes, breast abnormalities, cervical abnormalities, family planning status, menstrual disorders, reproductive tract infections and perimenopausal or menopausal problems.

Currently in Sri Lanka and around the world, more attention and resources are diverted towards curative care as opposed to secondary prevention. Such conditions compromise a woman’s quality of life including their sexual and reproductive health. Hence, improving services for women’s health issues to reduce mortality and morbidity is a crucial step forward.

Identifying the need for collaborative action, the Ministry of Health in Sri Lanka with support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) launched the National Strategic Plan (2019-2023) for the Well Woman Programin Sri Lanka. The strategy aims to ensure by 2023 that every woman in the targeted age cohorts, especially those farthest behind, have benefited from quality health services through the Well Woman Clinics around the country.

The Strategic Plan comes at a critical moment in the battle against cervical cancer. Technological advances reveal that primary prevention of cervical cancer is possible through HPV vaccinations and secondary prevention is possible through HPV testing. At the launch, Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous MedicineDirector General of Health Services Dr. Anil Jaasinghe stated, “An objective of the strategic plan is to shift from cervical cytology tests to HPV testing as a more effective method for cervical cancer screening. In 2017, we introduced HPV vaccinations for girls in Grade 6. We are confident that HPV vaccination and screening for HPV will pave the way for the elimination of cervical cancer in the country.” Speaking on the importance of universal health coverage, UNFPA Representative Ritsu Nacken highlighted: “We need to acknowledge that even one woman dying from a preventable cause is too many. This is an opportune moment to establish a new strategic plan for the Well Woman Program so we can make necessary changes in the structure and services to further improve the health status of women. This will ensure all women in Sri Lanka enjoy quality healthcare to fulfil their potential.”

In 2018, UNFPA supported a pilot project in rolling out the HPV DNA testing in Kalutara. As the UN’s sexual and reproductive health agency, UNFPA has been supporting the Well Woman Programsince its inception in 1996 to improve the health and wellbeing of women in Sri Lanka.


Share This Article

Facebook Twitter


1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.


Today's Columnists

Victory over the oppressed

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

The Presidential Election is over and the new President has taken his oaths. Although there were opinions expressed that there can be a second count of preference votes of the candidates other than the first and second, it was an easy victory for Got

The mantra of attracting high-end tourists

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

“Easier said than done!” is what many veterans of the tourism industry say whenever the subject of enticing high spenders to Sri Lanka is debated. That being so, some boutique brands have fetched high prices in the past though the current situati

Adopt high-impact interventions to secure future of antibiotics and rollback the global AMR crisis

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global crisis that threatens the future of our most precious drugs: antibiotics. Across the world, AMR kills an estimated 700,000 people annually, including 230,000 from multi-drug resistant tuberculosis. By 2050,

A child’s guide to MCC Compact Sri Lanka

Monday, 18 November 2019

Intelligent children, unlike some of the adults, are curious, probing and questioning. They do not jump to conclusions until and unless they are convinced of facts that have been presented to them. Asani, a student in the Advanced Level class in a le

Columnists More