Saturday, March 21, 2009

WHO expert to probe Matara Rubella death and catastrophe - Lankan Health Minister

By Ravi Ladduwahetty – Sri Lanka Editor – Asian Tribune

Colombo, 21 March, (

The Government of Sri Lanka has requested the World Health Organisation to send a top expert to Colombo to probe how a 12 year-old St. Thomas Matara Girls’ College schoolgirl died yesterday morning and how 29 others were hospitalised following the administration of the Rubella injection for German Measles .

"I have personally ordered the WHO to sent and expert to probe this as this is the first and only time this happened in this country," Sri Lankan Leader of the House of Parliament and Minister of Healthcare and Nutrition Nimal Siripala De Silva told Asian Tribune.

The Sri Lankan Health Minister, who is also the incumbent Chairman of the Executive Board of the WHO, said that there were more that 300,000 school girls and apparel factory workers on whom the Rubella injection was administered and this was the only time that this injection had adverse effects.

He also denied the main Opposition party’s allegation in Parliament that the dosage of Rubella was bordering the expiry date.

"These are baseless allegations coming from a bankrupt Opposition which is virtually crying and dreaming to come to power", the Minister charged.

Meanwhile, the Government has also already dispatched a two pronged and 5 member team of Medical Specialists from the Ministry of Health and also from the Epidemiological Department of the Department of Health which is expected to report to the Health Minister the basis of their findings tonight.

The two teams headed by Health Ministry’s Director-General Dr Palitha Mahipala told Asian Tribune that the Epidemiological Department will probe the Technical aspects while the Ministry team will go into the Administration aspects.

"The 29 students who are yet "Dr. Mahipala assured.

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