Sri Lanka today sought assistance from friendly countries to combat kidney disease and save members of the farming community that was most affected by the disease.
President Maithripala Sirisena, who met foreign diplomats at the Presidential Secretariat last morning, emphasised that about 40, 000 people were suffering from kidney disease and that hundred persons die every year in many areas of the country as a result.
President Sirisena pointed out that the drinking water problem had been a major cause for this situation and that international assistance was being sought to find solutions to the issue.
He said even though steps were taken to improve the facilities in hospitals that attend to such patients, the number of patients was still on the rise.
The diplomats present had assured the President of their fullest support and promised to assist the initiatives of the government to address the problem.
Representative of the World Health Organisation (WHO) assured the President that they would provide assistance towards finding the causes for the disease and formulating a lasting solution while the representative of the European Union (EU) said that they would consider increasing funding for drinking water projects around the country.
Indian High Commissioner Y.K. Singha, who was also present on the occasion, assured all those present that India would also do their part in providing assistance for the drinking water projects in Kundasale, Polgahawela and Kalutara.
Japan meanwhile had taken the responsibility to help 60,000 kidney patients in the Anuradhapura District while the Australian Ambassador assured that his country would help set up a drinking water project for 10 million people in the Northern Province.