IN SRI LANKA
Malaria has been a devastating epidemic in Sri Lanka for centuries, killing thousands of lives, pushing communities into famine and affecting the development of the country. Though Sri Lanka is located close to the equator it has less seasonal variations and most parts of the country are dry being favourable for vector breeding. In the dry zone, it was most prevalent. Out of the 25 districts 20 were considered endemic in the country.
The Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum has been accounted for most infections and few other cases have been identified because of Plasmodium malariae and Plasmodium ovale. Species E Anopheles culcifaces is the principal vector.
It is a remarkable milestone in Sri Lanka for being able to eradicate malaria after extensive efforts for decades.
CURRENT STATUS OF MALARIA
Sri Lanka is regarded as the second “Malaria free country” in the South East Asian region and obtained the WHO certification on 5th September 2016. Presently Sri Lanka has moved from elimination and entered into the phase of prevention of re-introduction of Malaria. The last reported indigenous malaria case in Sri Lanka is in October 2012. The cases reported post-2012 are imported malaria cases from individuals who returned from Malaria endemic countries.
The figure below shows the number of imported malaria cases district wise reported in the country during the year 2013 to 2017. The majority of the cases are from Western province (Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara district)