Sri Lanka workforce dying early: report

July 10, 2011 (LBO) – Sedentary lifestyles and absence of regular health checks are making Sri Lanka’s workforce unhealthy with an alarming increase in early deaths that could have implications for economic growth, a media report said. “The war is over but Sri Lanka’s workforce is sitting on a fast-ticking time bomb,” the Sunday Times newspaper said, noting that a recent survey had found the working population was prone to illnesses like heart disease.

The study was of a cross-section of the workforce in the districts of Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara which gives an insight to the bigger picture across the country, the paper said.

” . . . if urgent action is not taken, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) lie buried like landmines sending many to an early death.”

Nearly one-fourth of the working population surveyed is either diabetic or on the brink of becoming so, according to the survey which screened not only government workers but also those in the private and non-governmental sectors.

A majority of deaths were due to heart disease, diabetes mellitus and strokes, the newspaper quoted Western Provincial Director of Health Services, Dr. Harsha De Silva, as saying.

Every day in Sri Lanka, 250 peop