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Epidemiology Unit

The Epidemiology Unit was established in 1959 with assistance from the World Health Organization (WHO) to strengthen surveillance of communicable diseases. Initially, the unit functioned with a WHO consultant and a national counterpart, who, after further training in epidemiology, was appointed in 1961, as the Epidemiologist of the Department of Health Services. Prior to this, the functions of epidemiological surveillance were under the guidance of a Senior Medical Officer (Epidemiology) in the Department of Health Services. From its inception, the Epidemiological Unit worked very closely with the Public Health Veterinary Officer (presently the  Director, Public Health Veterinary Services) and the Medical Statistician, and were all located at Chelsea Gardens, Colombo 3.

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Message for Public

Dengue update

During the last 7 months of the year 2014, 23355 suspected dengue cases have been reported to the Epidemiology Unit from all over the island.

Latest Disease Trends,

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Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease which is endemic in Sri Lanka. Previous experience and our data suggest that the disease is mainly associated with paddy farming.
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Calendar of Activities

What's New


The Ceremonial presentation of draft National Immunization Policy

Ceremonial presentation of the draft National Immunization Policy to the Hon. Minster of health, other elected members of the central and provincial government bodies and health officials was held on 29th April 2014 at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall, Colombo with the participation of over 150 delegates. This draft policy was formulated with contributions from many stakeholders including Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Finance and Planning and Ministry of Justice under the leadership of the Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health with financial assistance of Sabin Vaccine Institute.  Having a National Immunization Policy would further strengthen the National Immunization Programme by ensuring the provision of an enabling environment for immunization of all eligible individuals in the country.

Minister of Health, Hon. Maithreepala Sirisena was the chief guest and members of parliament, Hon. Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle and Hon. Dr. Ramesh Pathirana, Chief Minister of the southern province, Hon. Shan Vijayalal de Silva and Health Ministers of North Western and Central provinces; Hon. D.B. Herath and Hon. Bandula Yalegama and Dr. Devendra Prasad Gnawali, Senior Program Officer of the Sabin Vaccine Institute grace the occasion. Officials from Ministry of Health including Dr. Palitha Mahipala, Director General of Health Services, Dr. Sarath Amunugama, Deputy Director General of Public Health Services and Dr. Paba Palihawadana, Chief Epidemiologist were present. Representative from the World Health Organization, members of academia, professional collages and ministries of Finance and Planning, Education and Ministry of Justice were also present...

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Disease surveillance go online

Routine H399 (Weekly Return of Communicable Diseases) based disease surveillance system has been the driving hub for Sri Lankan...

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Press Releases

A report has been received on 22nd March 2011 by the Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health from the Regional Epidemiologist...

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Let Sleeping Demons Sleep

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