Medi-snippets: 1“Sri Lanka’s health services on par with the best in the world” | Sunday Observer

Medi-snippets: 1“Sri Lanka’s health services on par with the best in the world”

Sri Lanka has one of the world’s best health services, Health , Indigenous and Nutrition Minister, Dr Ranjith Senaratne was quoted as saying at a media conference at Temple Trees recently. He reportedly said, at the time he became Health Minister there was only one children’s hospital in the country, whereas there were eight now. Prior to 2015 there were only two maternity hospitals, which number has shot up to ten, including in Jaffna. There was only one cancer hospital at that time for the entire country, while today, there are 12. He further noted that the 66 blood banks in the country at that time has now increased to 214 modern blood banks, islandwide.

Commenting on the rapid progress made in the field of transplant surgeries, he noted that only five leg transplants had taken place in the world, of which four were unsuccessful. The only successful leg transplant had been performed in Sri Lanka on a patient who also got a new heart and leads a healthy life today. Bone marrow transplant surgery was also now available free, in state hospitals, along with cochlear implant surgery for children with impaired hearing, from low income families.

He further noted that organ transplant surgeries had been limited in the country before 2015 and only 40 kidney surgeries had been done. But in 2017, 400 kidney transplant surgeries and 70 liver transplant surgeries had been performed. Pancreatic surgery was another facility now available to patients free of charge. He said the Wold Bank had granted US $300 million to improve the health sector after observing the significant progress made in the past four years. So far over a million people have benefitted from the Suwa Seriya ambulance service, he added, noting that a total of 450 new ambulances would be provided to state hospitals soon. He reportedly added that spot cash was also given to all state hospital directors to face emergencies. Each Hospital director was given Rs ten million as spot cash while the NHSL director was granted Rs 500 million as the largest state hospital serving patients from around the country.

Army spearhead war against drugs through schools

The Sri Lanka Army has partnered with the Presidential Task Force on Drug Prevention to spearhead a propaganda war against drugs through 6,312 schools country wide. The eradication of dangerous drugs now being given national priority and a team of top level officials of the Presidential Task Force on Drugs Prevention have reportedly met the Army Commander to map out further action. The proposed modus operandi expects islandwide army personnel to involve them selves in the effort to reach out to every Government School in their respective areas, and distribute handbills on the dangers of dangerous drugs, to students, following the delivery of informative lectures by professionally trained Army personnel, sources reportedly said. `The Army Commander has reportedly noted that the potential of school prefects, cadets, scouts, class monitors and outstanding students could be tapped in this regard and trained to sustain awareness within each school premise either on a weekly basis or otherwise, since they are close acquaintances of their classmates or school community.

Anuradhapura CKD Centre to open next month

Construction work at the Anuradhapura Methsiri Sevana, a stay centre for kidney patients, is set to be commissioned by the President in March. The Centre will be for patients from distant areas who need to visit the Anuradhapura CKD Hospital for treatment and dialysis, as well as kidney transplant surgeries. The four storeyed building with a floor area of 43,000 square feet, will cost the Presidential Task Force for the Prevention of Kidney disease, Rs 300 million. North Central Provincial Heath Services Director Dr Palitha Bandara has reportedly said the President would be commissioning the new building by March 15 .

The construction is done by the Sri Lanka Army, Navy and Air force in consultation with the Provincial Engineering Department. When completed Methsiri Sevana can accommodate around 76 patients . The modern building is said to be equipped with research facilities for local and foreign researchers, consultation rooms, a restaurant, a supervision centre for post kidney transplant patients as well as accommodation facilities for attendants, Dr Bandara was quoted as saying.

Leishmaniasis at epidemic level in Galewela

Around 58 persons in Galewela have been infected with Leishmaniasis and the situation has reached epidemic levels, Galewela Medical Officer of Health I.M Ratnayake has reportedly said. Explaining that the disease, caused by sand flies could be cured and was not usually fatal, added that the wounds would take a few months to heal.

Eight patients have been reported during the past two weeks he was quoted as saying, noting that the highest number of cases had been reported from Wasalakotte where 28 patients were found. He said sand flies sting during the night, and the area infected would itch and become wounded. Sand flies can hide inside houses and hence residents in the vicinity have been advised to keep their houses and windows closed.

New initiative to reduce Leprosy stigma

While Sri Lanka eliminated Leprosy as a public health problem in 1995, a rise in newly detected cases has since threatened to undermine her progress against the disease. The main obstacle has been identified as stigma.

When World Leprosy Day was observed in January, the Society for Upliftment and Rehabilitation of Leprosy Affected Persons (SUROL) has pioneered a new initiative that supports patients to live with their families, visiting their homes and seeking to erase negative effects on their personal and social relationships. Surol cares for 250 differently abled leprosy patients and 50-60 children.

General Secretary Fr Neil Dias Karunaratne has invited the public to sponsor patients . The cost of sponsorship for an adult leprosy patient is Rs 2,500 and for a child Rs 2,000. Surol hopes to increase this sponsorship program to 3,000 this year and has invited the public to contribute hampers for essential items during festive occasions. Each hamper costs Rs 7,500, a spokesman for SUROL said.

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