Modern hi tech ambulance service for accident victims soon | Sunday Observer

Modern hi tech ambulance service for accident victims soon

Sri Lanka will soon have a modern ambulance service similar to that which exists in Europe, with help obtained from Austria, Health Minister Dr Rajitha Seneratne has reportedly said.

Addressing a gathering after accepting 20 ambulances with hi-tech equipment from Austria recently, the Minister said, this was the first batch of ambulances obtained under an Austrian loan scheme . The price of an ambulance is Rs 18 million.

Under the first phase of the project, 100 Benz ambulances are expected to be obtained and another 100 in the second stage, bringing the total to 200. A Cabinet paper is said to have been submitted by the Minister to import another 200 ambulances . Informed sources said, the government had already ordered 250 ambulances which would be distributed among state hospitals soon. Ministry sources said, the government has planned to provide an Emergency Treatment Unit ( ETU), two wards and an ambulance to each primary health care unit in the country.

Annually, 250,000 Lankans are said to die from accidents, most of them due to the delay in transporting them to a hospital in time, according to latest statistics from the Accident Service.

Over 200 smoke free towns by next year

The number of towns that have stopped selling cigarettes will be doubled by next year, Health Minister Dr Rajitha Seneratne has said. At present 100 towns have ceased selling cigarettes .

This number will be increased to 200 in a year’s time he reportedly said at the 83rd Annual session of the Sri Lanka Public Heath Inspectors’ Association at Kadawatha recently. He also said, the one and a half year training period of PHIs would be increased to 2 years, with a new faculty opened for PHIs with the support of the Ruhuna University.

He further noted that a Cabinet paper had been submitted to provide 750 motorcycles to PHIs and that the number of PHIs would be increased to 5,000.

Polythene contamination continues

A polythene cutting and packaging company in Grandpass was recently raided by the Central Environmental Authority ( CEA) and Consumer Affairs Authority ( CAA) and 24 poly sack bags with 164,750 non compliance lunch sheets taken into custody. CAA sources said they would continue their operation to raid the premises of all violators of the Consumer Law on sub quality polythene and use of banned polythene, with the help of the Environmental Police, and legal action will be taken against the offenders.

Meanwhile, it is encouraging that several civil societies have come forward to clear the beaches of plastic and polythene in popular tourist hotspots such as Mt Lavinia , Puttalam and the coastal belt in the North and the East, with foreign tourists volunteering their services as well. The Shippers Academy Colombo has also taken an initiative to educate people through the workforce.

CEO Rohan Masakorala was reported to have said that 80% of the workforce is with the private sector and if corporates can start educating their employees we could reduce waste flowing into the ocean via land. Recent reports indicate that 80% of urban sewage discharge into the ocean is untreated. Even in Sri Lanka the sewage in major cities like Colombo is not treated in 95% of the areas of urban living which results in diseases and beach contamination.

Narcotics: schoolchildren increasingly victimised

Law enforcement agencies have intensified their crackdown on narcotics with fruitful results . Over 30 kgs of heroin have been seized during the last six months based on figures reportedly compiled by the Special Task Forces (STF). Health sources said, schoolchildren were now increasingly being stalked by illicit drug vendors as easy prey, with daily reports of vendors selling banned substances outside the school gates of several boys’ schools. Health officials have urged parents to monitor their children’s extra curricular activities warning that taking drugs at an early age can severely affect their health and scar their future for life.

Legal action against university ragging

All Police stations have been asked to take legal action against university students involved in ragging new entrants under the Prohibition of Ragging and other Forms of Violence in Educational Institutions Act No 20 of 1998. Higher Education and Cultural Affairs Minister Wijedasa Rajapakshe has reportedly said, if convicted, offenders would be sentenced to 10 years rigorous imprisonment.

He said, the Anti Ragging Act would be fully brought into force. Authorities have also been instructed to direct such students to psychiatrists for treatment. It was also reported that an Emergency Unit has been set up in the Uva Wellassa University as a pilot project, with similar units to be set up in other universities as well.