Launch of WHO global strategy
Seventeenth November 2020 marks a historic milestone, with the World Health Organization (WHO) officially launching its global strategy to accelerate the elimination of cervical cancer as a public health problem , targeting the period 2020-2030. This is the first time the world has committed to eliminate a cancer. As WHO has observed “Cervical Cancer is a preventable and curable disease as long as it is detected early and managed effectively”.
The Rotary Club of Colombo, in the second phase of its 15 year Cancer Prevention and Early Detection Project, launched its Cervical Cancer Elimination Project in 2019 in partnership with the Ministry of Health . Today, to commemorate the November 2020 WHO formal launch landmark, monuments in the capital, namely Colombo Town Hall and other prominent landmarks will be illuminated in the colour teal to depict cervical cancer awareness. This would be a display of solidarity by Sri Lanka with a historic global commitment to eliminate cervical cancer, and will be showcased globally as part of the WHO event , accompanied by the illumination of iconic monuments in various regions of the world. Today’s launch of the WHO strategy , gives impetus to the far reaching Rotary initiative in partnership with the Ministry of Health to fight cervical cancer, with the challenging goal of eliminating cervical cancer as a public health problem by 2030,
While local and global events , primarily the Covid-19 pandemic, delayed the launch of this life saving project , it is now targeted for early 2021 with the installation and commissioning of advanced technology HPV DNA screening equipment for early detection of cervical cancer , located regionally to reach out to areas with low coverage. This would be simultaneously accompanied by relevant capacity building of healthcare personnel focussing on behavioural change, and publicity campaign to build social awareness. Two buses for mobile screening would also be made available to facilitate greater reach to target high risk groups in the interior areas. This major project is funded with a global grant from The Rotary Foundation together with a number of Rotary Clubs across the world , and project partner Rotary Club of Birmingham ,Al, USA.
The strategy adopted by WHO in 2020 is reflected in the approach taken by the Ministry of Health Sri Lanka in partnership with Rotary, of targeting elimination of cervical cancer as a public health problem through 3 main pillars-Prevention through HPV vaccination , which will be taken on by the Ministry of Health, and which offers long term protection against cervical cancer. Rotary’s involvement would be in the facilitation of screening and early detection of cervical cancer in the 35 and 45 year old females, thus enabling early detection and treatment of pre-cancerous lesions which would prevent a pre cancer developing into a cancer. The third pillar would be the treatment for those diagnosed with invasive cancer , which could save those lives, while palliative care would address the pain and suffering and aim at mitigating this. Rotary’s ongoing partnership of over 15 years with National Cancer Control Programme of the Ministry of Health , focussing on screening and early detection and prevention of breast cancer and cervical cancer , motivated Rotary, with this long experience, to come forward, and focus on cervical cancer – being preventable , and curable if detected early and treated.
The WHO strategy targets 90% of girls to be fully vaccinated with the HPV vaccine before the age of 15 years, with a target of 70% of women being screened using a high performance test at 35 years and again at 45 years , and 90% of women identified with cervical cancer to receive treatment(both pre cancer and invasive cancer). In this respect Sri Lanka is on the right path with the HPV vaccination of 10 year old girls already close to the target. The well structured healthcare system in Sri Lanka effectively facilitates reaching the target group for screening and early detection of cervical cancer , which, with the support from Rotary, would address the present low coverage, and target an increase upto 70-80% coverage. With results being measurable and monitoring and evaluation systems being upgraded , including population based cancer registries , such a focussed strategy spearheaded by the Govt of Sri Lanka in partnership with Rotary, would make elimination of cervical cancer as a public health problem an achievable goal.
WHO states in its communique launching its strategy , ” Cervical cancer stands as one of the world’s greatest failures, but through strong action and aligned intervention, elimination is within reach for all countries. The technology and tools exist to prevent this disease , along with proven measures for early diagnosis and treatment”.
Rotary, in partnership with the Ministry of Health is focussed on this challenging and lifesaving goal which will be a historic milestone in disease prevention. In the words of WHO Director General, “We can eliminate cervical cancer and make it a disease of the past”.
NSB introduces special credit scheme for shrimp farming industry
National Savings Bank (NSB), in collaboration with one of its fully owned subsidiary, Sri Lanka Savings Bank(SLSB), has planned to introduce a special loan scheme to offer credit facilities under a lower interest rate with a view to accelerating the development of shrimp farming industry in Sri Lanka.
Shrimp farming industry in Sri Lanka, which came into being around 30 years ago, could be identified as a higher value generating sector among the industries based on aquaculture in the country.
With the objective of achieving a sustainable development in shrimp farming industry in the country, Sri Lanka Aquaculture Development Alliance has been established 15 years back and the permanent members of this organization will be able to obtain loan facilities within a value range of Rs. one Million to Rs. 100 Million under this loan scheme.
This Alliance comprises of 18 farmers’ societies, breeding center societies, seafood societies and shrimp feed societies in Puttlam District, in which the shrimp farming industry is mainly centralized. The Alliance operates the shrimp farming industry, in coordination with the National Aquaculture Development Authority of Sri Lanka, the main state sponsored organization mandated for the task of development of the aquaculture and inland fisheries sector in Sri Lanka and other government institutions. Further, the membership of this alliance represents the entire shrimp farming industry of the country.
Lanka Realty Investments acquires controlling shares of On’ally Holdings
CSE turnover almost Rs 3.5 billion
By Hiran H.Senewiratne
Lanka Realty Investments Plc has acquired 50.8 percent of the issued capital of Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) listed On’ally Holdings Plc for Rs 1.42 billion.
With the transaction Renula Capital and Lanka Reality Investments share prices appreciated significantly yesterday, stock market analysts said.
On’ally Holdings Plc announced that Lanka Realty Investments Plc has acquired 50.8 percent ( 47,244,050 shares) of the issued capital (93,003,087 shares) of the company with the purchase of shares made on 3rd December 2020 at a price of Rs.30.20 per share.
Meanwhile, in a separate filing Renuka Capital Plc announced that it has sold and disposed of 40,754,820 Ordinary Shares (43.821 percent ) held by the Company in On’ally Holdings Plc to Lanka Realty Investments Plc at a value of Rs.30.20 per share on the CSE. Renuka Capital PLC is the second largest shareholder of On’ally Holdings Plc.
The turnover stood at Rs 3.44 billion with two crossings mainly; On’ally Holdings crossing which contributed 42 percent to the turnover and Access Engineering. On’ ally 47.2 million shares crossed for Rs 1.43 billion and its share price was Rs 32.20 and Access Engineering one million shares crossed for Rs 25 million and its share price was Rs 25.
With the transaction Renuka Capital share price appreciated by more than 50 percent or Rs 2.50 . Its share price startered trading at Rs 5 and at the end of the day it moved upto Rs 7.50. Lanka Reality share Price share price moved up by 13 percent or Rs 4.60. It’s share price startered trading at Rs 34.40 and at the end of the day it moved up to Rs 39.
In the retail market top five companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were JKH Rs 141.5 million (945,000 shares traded), Expolanka Rs 135.7 million (5.2 million shares traded), Melstacorp Rs 128 million (three million shares traded), Access Engineering Rs 123.3 million (4.9 million shares traded) and Renuka Capital Plc Rs 121.7 million (18.5 million shares traded).
Amid those developments both indices moved upwards i.e. All Share Price Index up by 17.26 points and S and P SL20 up by 8.81 points up. The share volume that transacted during the day was 22487. According to stockbrokers that market sluggish and the latter part of the day it picked up following the major crossing.
SLT and Mobitel launch Green Premier League 2020
SLT and Mobitel together began an exemplary green initiative project simultaneously with Sri Lankan Premier League (LPL) 2020 called “SLT – Mobitel Green Premier League” (GPL), as a sustainable environmental conservation project. According to the winning score of each team in every match of the LPL, SLT and Mobitel will take necessary actions to plant the equivalent number of plants as forest restoration at Rajawaka forest reserve in Kalthota, Balangoda. Thus, by the end of the LPL tournament, SLT and Mobitel will have taken the necessary actions to plant possibly around 4000 plants in the forest reserve and would have arranged a sustainable maintenance program with the Forest Department in accordance with UN sustainable developments goals. This would be a pioneer project within the context of any cricket premier league in the world!
From the 26th of November 2020 till the 16th of December 2020, SLT and Mobitel will be conducting this remarkable initiative aiming to increase the forest cover in Sri Lanka by planting these trees in 6 hectares in Rajawaka Forest reserve, which has identified as a rich biodiversity site and also the major water catchment area for the Samanalawewa reservoir. With an island-wide reach as the national telecommunications service provider, SLT hopes to inspire sports fans and the youth of the country to undertake their own steps towards environmental conservation and sustainability. SLT will continuously monitor this project in the next two years with the support of the Forest department to ensure the desired outcomes.
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