‘Commit to Quit’ is the theme of this year’s World No Tobacco Day marked on 31st May 2021. It provides a welcome focus on smoking cessation by advocating strong cessation policies, increasing access to cessation services, and empowering users to successfully quit the deadly habit through ‘quit and win’ initiatives. The benefits of smoking cessation go beyond the individual; most immediately and directly through reduced involuntary smoke exposure and higher disposable income for household members. It is, therefore, crucial to have effective, long-term cessation interventions. According to the latest IPS research, strengthening existing Tobacco Free Zones (TFZs) and creating new TFZs are a promising initiative to promote smoking cessation. This blog examines the effectiveness of prevailing TFZs and suggests ways to improve them so that Sri Lanka’s public healthcare can be further strengthened.
An effective vaccination strategy is a necessity for countries to move beyond COVID-19. However, it also requires careful policymaking to balance the financial cost of purchasing and delivering vaccines while stimulating economic growth. This article, based on a recent IPS analysis, provides an overview of the approximate costs associated with the COVID-19 vaccination rollout in Sri Lanka and evaluates policy options to finance the initiative. The authors argue that the government is best off pursuing a medium-term self-financing option through targetted tax interventions and if required, through external financing.
Across the globe, the magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a new urgency around healthcare systems and universal health coverage – the access to high-quality and affordable healthcare services for all, as and when needed. The limited resources available to address multiple challenges facing the health system point to the critical need for policymakers to explore smarter ways of investing existing funds. This blog examines some areas in which health spending can be made more efficient, drawing from information collected for an ongoing IPS study.
This blog, based on a forthcoming IPS publication, discusses the impact of tobacco spending on other basic needs. The findings of the study show that spending on tobacco results in households foregoing other critical expenditure.
Non-communicable diseases – primarily caused by poor eating habits and inactive lifestyles – claim the largest number of Sri Lankan lives, accounting for 83% of all deaths, compared to a global average of 71%. This blog takes a look at how food environments influence eating habits and highlights the need for examining and regulating Sri Lanka’s food environment to combat the NCD epidemic. Some best practice country examples which could help inform the policy agenda in Sri Lanka are also discussed.