PHIs seek probe on Dy DG of Public Health

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The Public Health Inspectors’ Union Sri Lanka (PHIUSL) called for an inquiry against Deputy Director General of Public Health Services (DDGPHS) Dr. S.M. Arnold, for allegedly attempting to disrupt a programme on tobacco control.

PHIUSL Secretary, S.I. Bopitiyage on Monday (13) accused Dr. Arnold of having intentionally prevented T.G.S.L. Prakash of the Chief PHI Unit of the Health Ministry from attending two rounds of discussions on ‘further reducing active and passive smoking.’

The discussions had been organised by the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA), he said.

The PHIUSL, in a letter addressed to the Health Secretary, urged the Ministry to conduct more investigations against Dr. Arnold, who did not give permission to PHI Prakash to take part and thereby preventing him from being a part of important discussions and sharing his knowledge and expertise on the subject.

PHIUSL President Upul Rohana said the particular PHI from the Health Ministry had contributed largely towards introducing ‘no-smoking zones’ which was highly appreciated by the World Health Organization (WHO).

NATA’s work with regard to Tobacco Prevention had brought about a 9.1 per cent drop in smoking. The particular discussions which had commenced in April this year too were organised in a bid to reduce this amount even further, he said. 

By Dilanthi Jayamanne