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History of the Epidemiology Unit

ln 1959, after its establishment with the assistance of the WH0, the Epidemiology Unit was operated by a World Health 0rganization (WHO) public health consultant and a local Medical 0fficer qualified in public health. The latter was appointed formally in 1961 as the Epidemiologist. The Unit was housed along with the Public Health Veterinary Services and the Medical Statistics Unit at Chelsea Gardens, Colombo 03.

ln 1967, two more assistant Epidemiologists trained in epidemiology were appointed to the Unit. By 1970 two peripheral health divisions, namely Kalutara and Kurunegala had their own Regional Epidemiologists.These officers have had their epidemiological training with the support of the WHO.

The plan to appoint Regional Epidemiologists to all regional health divisions was hindered due to the scarcity of officers opting to remain in the field of public health. Those trained with the support of the WHO were appointed as Medical 0fficers of Health rather than Regional Epidemiologists. However, the next two regions covered by the services of Regional Epidemiologists were Jaffna and Vavuniya and thereafter, Kandy.

Colombo region was served by an assistant Epidemiologist from the Epidemiology Unit. Another assistant Epidemiologist from the Unit was assigned for non-communicable disease epidemiolgy. This officer was later appointed as the first director of the Cancer Control Programme after its establishment as a separate unit within the Ministry of Health.

A public health bacteriologist with postgraduate qualifications in bacteriology as well as in public health was appointed to the Unit in 1975. This officer was attached to the lnfectious Diseases Hospital and the Lady Ridgeway Children's Hospital in Colombo, but worked as a member of the Epidemiology Unit team and was involved in outbreak investigations and in special epidemiological studies. However, this post was suppressed following the retirement of this officer in the early eighties.

ln early 1970s, the Unit was shifted to the building that now houses the Ministry of Health. By February 1986, the Epidemiology Unit was relocated at the present building at 231, De Saram Place, Colombo 10, which also houses the Family Health Bureau.

ln 1995, the cadre allocated to the Unit was revised and the total number of Medical Officers was increased to 13. This number included two senior administrative grade officers and eight specialist grade officers. ln addition to this, it was planned to appoint Regional Epidemiologists to all Districts and Provincial Epidemiologists to the Provinces. All 26 RDHS divisions are now served by a Regional Epidemiologist.

Over the years since 1959, the Unit has been steered by eight Chief Epidemiologists and at present, the Unit functions with a full cadre headed by the Chief Epidemiologist, Dr. Paba Palihawadana.

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 August 2017 09:49

What's New

Latest Events

Introduction of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine into the National Immunization Programme 

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Special Dengue campaign 9th and 10th Nov 2017 ( Sinhala / Tamil / English )

Dengue mosquito control week : 20 - 26 Sept 2017

Advice's for patients with Dengue Fever who are on ambulatory care ( Sinhala TamilEnglish )

Printable versions ( Sinhala / Tamil / English )

Triage of fever patients with suspected dengue and criteria for admission

Events

Introduction of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine into the National Immunization Programme

-----------------------------------------

Special Dengue campaign 9th and 10th Nov 2017 ( Sinhala / Tamil / English )

Dengue mosquito control week : 20 - 26 Sept 2017

Advice's for patients with Dengue Fever who are on ambulatory care ( Sinhala / Tamil / English )

Printable versions ( Sinhala / Tamil / English )

Triage of fever patients with suspected dengue and criteria for admission

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Disease Surveillance in Flood Affected Areas

1. Public health measures to be adopted in the event of floods.

2. Health messages for public.

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Zika Leaflet ( Sinhala/English )

Revised Guidelines for Clinical Management, Laboratory Investigation and Surveillance of Patients with Zika Virus Infection

 

Immunization coverage assessment survey

 

Ebola Preparedness – Assessment in Sri Lanka

Polio Eradication Endgame Plan

 

Influenza Disease

Seasonal Influenza

Influenza in pregnancy

MERS-CoV Infection

Introduction of the Inactivated Polio Vaccine

Symposium on Challenges in Prevention and Control of Hepatitis C

 


Working guideline for the management of patients having Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)

Diagnosis of Ebola virus disease (EVD)

Haematological investigations of Ebola Virus disease (EVD) suspected patients

Before conducting any haematological investigations on suspected   Ebola Virus disease (EVD) patients

Please contact,

  1. Epidemiology unit – 0112 695112, 0112 681548
  2. Dr. Sunethra Gunasena  (Consultant virologist ) Medical Research Institute(MRI) Colombo
- 0112 693532, 0112 693533,0112 693534 / 5


News
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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