WHO congratulates Sri Lanka for eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV, Syphilis

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Kathmandu, December 10
World Health Organization has congratulated Sri Lanka for achieving elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and congenital syphilis.
WHO has congratulated Sri Lanka as the country has not reported any case of mother-to-child transmission of HIV since 2017 and its congenital syphilis cases has consistently been two per 100,000 live births, much less than 50 per 100,000 live births needed for elimination certification, as per the findings of the Global Validation Advisory Committee.
Validated for elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and congenital syphilis in November 2019, Sri Lanka is the third country in WHO South-East Asia Region to achieve this after Thailand and Maldives.
“Sri Lanka’s achievement once again demonstrates the country’s commitment to public health and builds on the strong foundation of primary health care services that it laid several decades ago,” said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia.
Elimination of mother-to-child transmission (EMTCT), is the latest in the series of public health achievement by Sri Lanka which includes its victory over polio, elimination of maternal and neonatal tetanus, malaria elimination, measles elimination and rubella control, and elimination of lymphatic filariasis. The country also leads in novel initiatives for addressing non-communicable diseases and promoting mental health.
“I would like to particularly commend the health workers for their persistent efforts which have hugely contributed to Sri Lanka achieving EMTCT,” the Regional Director said.
High quality maternal and health services, multi-sectoral support, concerted efforts by partners such as WHO, UNICEF, UNAIDS, UNFPA and civil society organizations, and strong community engagement, have all contributed to EMTCT, she said.

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