According to the Spokesman of the Ministry of Health, around 219,000 heart patients are admitted to hospitals every year with some form of heart disease, with the majority of patients seeking admission to the Cardiology Unit of the National Hospital of Sri Lanka (NHSL), Colombo.
The spokesman also said the government spends Rs 3,500 million per year to treat heart patients, and pointed out the main reasons that lead to heart diseases are bad food habits, smoking, alcohol and obesity. He added, the Ministry will make available, facilities to enable patients to check their blood for cholesterol and diabetes, at the Medical Research Institute (MRI), commencing 19 July, while facilities for patients to engage in physical exercise are also being arranged.
Approximately 20 people die daily in Sri Lanka due to heart diseases, which translates into 7,300 deaths per year, the Ministry of Health, revealed.
Minister of Health Maithripala Sirisena, speaking at the inauguration of the programme, said that 20% of Sri Lanka population suffers from malnutrition, 15% suffer from diabetes and nearly 20% are prone to high blood pressure, noting that such non communicable diseases are spreading rapidly in the country due to unhealthy food consumed by the public.
The ministry also hopes to introduce guidelines to canteens, advising them on the type of food they should sell, to ensure those who patronize them would eat healthy food.