- Press Release
The Public Health Inspector is a vital member of the community health system. With the inauguration of the Sanitary Branch of the Medical Department in 1913, six Sanitary Inspectors were appointed after a short period of training for six months at the Ceylon Medical College. Since then recruitment of Sanitary Inspectors was a regular feature. Following the devastation caused by the massive malaria epidemic in the country in 1934/35, the Malaria Control and Health Scheme commenced in 1937. Under this scheme the designation was changed as Sanitary Assistants, at first, but was changed back again as Sanitary Inspectors. The present designation as Public Health inspectors took effect from 1st of July 1954, following the recommendations contained in the report by Dr. Cumpston.
A landmark in the development of public health in Sri Lanka was the establishment of the Health Unit system in 1926. During the formative years of the Health Unit system, attention was mainly on the control of communicable diseases, and Environmental Sanitation and the Public Health Inspector played a key role in the delivery of the necessary services.
The importance of the duties of the Public Health Inspector, who is a crucially important member of the Health Team in the Health Unit, has increased even more, with the introduction of the Primary Health Care system which forms the basis of the delivery of community health care in Sri Lanka. In keeping with the different components of the PHC system, and also in keeping with the advances the public health delivery system has undergone in the past decades, there have been very significant changes in the duties and responsibilities of a Public Health Inspector.