Health Ministry to set up gene technology unit

The Health Ministry plans to establish a gene technology unit to enhance treatment for communicable and non-communicable diseases, a Ministry spokesman said.Health Minister Senaratne will include this project it in the next budget. The technology is in use in USA at present.

Minister Senaratne said that a Cabinet proposal will be submitted for the construction of a modern laboratory with high-tech medical equipment, at a cost of Rs. 482 million. There are five gene technology laboratories in Sri Lanka. At present, there are seven doctors employed by the Health Ministry who work in the field of gene technology and they will be given a special training in USA.

Gene technology is now being used to produce drugs to treat various genetic diseases. The technology can be used for early detection and better management of cancer and can be used to produce drugs for diseases such as thalassaemia and haemophilia. It will also enable medical treatment at lower costs, the Minister said.