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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Immunisation: Experts urge concerted action to build on Lanka’s success story

Click on the following link. Then click on News. Read Sanath Lama's keynote address at the Vaccine Forum

Immunisation: Experts urge concerted action to build on Lanka’s success story


  1. This takes you to the page dircetly.

  2. Lama's speech summary
    Quoting the age-old adage, “Prevention is better than cure” which still holds true, Colombo University’s Emeritus Professor of Paediatrics, Prof. Sanath Lamabadasuriya who delivered the Keynote Address on ‘Global impact of immunisation’ traced the history of immunisation, giving all the milestones.

    Currently Visiting Professor of Paediatrics at the Rajarata University, he paid tribute to all health personnel at the grassroots level including midwives and public health officials for the success of the immunisation programme in the country.

    He said that due to vaccination there has been no polio cases in Sri Lanka in 25 years; the only way to prevent deaths from rabies and also Japanese encephalitis which have a mortality rate of 100% is vaccination; the vaccine against Hepatitis B prevents primary hepatoma; and neonatal tetanus has been eliminated from the country by vaccinating expectant mothers. Cervical cancer in women can be prevented with the vaccine against the human papilloma virus (HPV) and in January 2017, this vaccine will be administered to 11-year-old girls under the immunisation programme.

    Putting forward a strong argument for the introduction of the vaccine against pneumococcal disease, Prof. Lamabadasuriya stressed that this is the world’s largest vaccine-preventable killer of children in infancy and up to five years of age. This disease is caused by the Streptococcus pneumonia bacterium, with dire consequences — deadly pneumonia and bacterial meningitis (infection of the brain).

    Vaccine Forum President Dr. J.S.D.K. Weeraman

    Pneumococcal disease is turning out to be increasingly antibiotic-resistant and, therefore, prevention through vaccination is the only answer, this Consultant Paediatrician said, lamenting that though he has carried out a vociferous campaign for the introduction of this vaccine, it had been futile. The excuse being used was “inadequate finances”. Forthright Prof. Lamabadasuriya pointed out that Sri Lanka could, however, import bullet-proof vehicles costing millions and as such seems to have got its “priorities mixed up”.

    Stating that there is a need to close the gap between the rich and the poor with regard to vaccinations, he hypothesised that the “ideal” vaccine would be a single dose containing all the vaccines, given at birth through the oral route with lifelong immunity, which does not need a cold-chain. It would be affordable to all.

    “Vaccines do not prevent deaths, but vaccination does,” he added

  3. Thanks Speedy, for providing the short cut.

  4. Speedy thanks a lot for that beautiful, useful summary. You really did everyone a service. And well done Lama for giving such a clear and complete summary as your keynote speech. Zita