COLOMBO, May 15 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka's health officials have said that despite being certified as a malaria-free country by the World Health Organization (WHO), the country was still not out of danger due to the presence of the transmitter mosquito and neighboring malaria endemic countries, local media reported Wednesday.
Director General of Health Services, Dr. Anil Jasinghe said that 57 malaria patients were identified in Sri Lanka in 2017 and all these patients had traveled to countries in which the mosquito borne disease was still prevalent.
In 2018, 48 cases were recorded by the anti malaria campaign.
Director of the Anti Malaria Campaign (AMC), Dr. H.D.B Herath said that from January this year to date, 11 cases were recorded.
Dr. Jasinghe said this was a good reminder of the constant risk of the disease being reintroduced in the country.
"Since we are a tropical country we cannot eliminate the vector mosquitoes completely," Dr. Jasinghe said.
"Therefore the country remains vulnerable to malaria," he added.
The WHO, in 2016, declared Sri Lanka as a malaria-free country, calling it a truly remarkable achievement.