Medi-snippets: Counselling for victims of Easter attack | Sunday Observer

Medi-snippets: Counselling for victims of Easter attack

Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam has reportedly said that a counselling program to help students suffering from emotional shock after the terror attacks on Easter Sunday would commence shortly. He reportedly said that some students have lost their parents, and others their siblings and relatives. As these students are suffering from shock due to these traumatic events, it was decided to conduct counselling programs with the assistance of volunteer groups from foreign countries. The Minister was quoted as saying that the details of students affected by the Easter attacks would be collected after schools re opened. The benefits of the Suraksha Insurance Scheme would also be provided for those children, he reportedly said.

Meanwhile a meeting to discuss treatment and counselling for victims of the Easter Sunday bomb attack suffering from psychological trauma was held at the District Secretariat in Batticaloa recently. The meeting, reportedly presided over by the Batticaloa Government Agent M.Uthayakumar focussed on mental health impacts resulting from the bomb attacks. Sources reportedly said they discussed ways and means of counselling and supporting affected families, guiding them to face future disasters. They also discussed the role of mental health officials of the Health Department in treating the victims.

Sources also revealed that a decision was made to form a district management committee comprising officials from the Government mental health sector, consultants from the private sector and health officials from foreign institutions.

Colombo Chief JMO staff also offered psychological counselling

In another news report, Sunday May 12, the Colombo Chief Judicial Medical Office staff has been offered psychological counselling to deal with the trauma they experienced in the immediate aftermath of the Easter Sunday bomb attacks. Colombo chief JMO Dr Ajih Tennakoon was quoted as saying that the pain and suffering of relatives unable to come to terms with the sudden departure of their loved ones was overwhelming for even the trained staff of the JMO’s office.

He said that following the relatives of the deceased being given psycho social counselling at the point of initial identification from the photo images of the face to the actual identification and receiving of the remains, the staff had requested the need for counselling for themselves as well, to relieve the stress and trauma of seeing so much pain and suffering.

Over 450 ambulances under Suwaseriya project

Health Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne has reportedly said that state hospitals islandwide would receive over 450 fully equipped ambulances for emergency care for all patients needing such services. So far 310 ambulances have been provided in different parts of the island to state hospitals at a cost of Rs 9.175 million the Minister was quoted as saying, adding that the World Health Organisation and international media had commended the response given by the Sri Lanka health care services during the Easter bomb attacks. He reportedly noted that another shipment of Suwaseriya ambulances had now reached the Colombo harbour under the auspices of the Austrian government, to be distributed to more state hospitals.

Dengue warning

Around ten districts continue to register over a thousand cases of suspected dengue according to Epidemiology Unit reports. The number of suspected cases of dengue stood at 572 for the month of May by May 11, bringing the total of suspected cases to 16,339.

According to informed sources the numbers have tumbled in most districts in the past two months compared to the figures seen at the beginning of the year when they stood at 5,576 in January, due to interventions by the Health Ministry, Tri forces and Police as well as the Presidential Task Force on Dengue . Citing examples, they said that in the Colombo district which continued to occupy the lead in dengue prevalence with a total of 3,579 suspected cases, the number of cases was 579 for April and now stood at 168 by May 11. Similarly, in Jaffna which according to Epidemiology Unit figures now occupies the 2nd place, the figures have dropped from 161 in April to 20 in May, and Kalutara the third highest at 1,046 cases in the first four months of the year, showed a drop of more than 50 percent from 186 in April to 52 in May. The Colombo Municipal Council area which had 700 cases and other areas in Colombo which registered 2,879 in the first four months of the year, also saw a drastic reduction.

“These numbers could go up further however if the kind of weather we are now experiencing of sudden showers followed by short bursts of sunshine continues as it is ideal for mosquito breeding”, a health spokesman reportedly warned, responding to a question by the media.

We are doing our best to prevent another outbreak before the next peak season in June /July. But we need the cooperation of the public at all levels to help keep their neighbourhoods clean and free of mosquito attracting material and sustain our campaign, the spokesperson reportedly said. Meanwhile, Medical Consultants have advised pregnant mothers to seek admission to hospital on the first day of fever and for the public in general to get medical treatment for any kind of fever without delay and without resorting to home remedies. All fever patients should stay at home and rest. They should only take Paracetamol and avoid all other medications, especially, non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs ( NSAIDs) such as Ibuprofen which could cause dangerous complications, they have warned.

Public Health Union sources said the public should contact their nearest Public Health Inspector to make complaints of anyone seen dumping garbage in side lanes and adjoining land.

Medical firsts abroad Barber helps dementia patients

The world’s first specialist dementia trained barber, Lenny White 38, from Northern Ireland, is helping clients affected by the debilitating disease. He reportedly achieves a calming environment for his elderly clients by time travelling them back to the 1950s with the help of an illuminated barber’s pole, a vintage juke box and lemon cologne. Training as a dementia barber initially undergoing a two hour Dementia Friends course to learn more about the condition, he says he does not just cut clients hair, he trims noses, eye brows ,ears and facial hair and make them look younger and better to the accompaniment of old time favourites they are familiar with.

Drone delivers kidney transplant patient

A kidney needed for transplant has been delivered by a drone for the first time, the University of Maryland Medical Centre has said, a development that could herald faster and safer organ transport. The specially designed high tech drone was fitted with equipment to monitor the kidney along its 5km journey to its recipient, a 44 year old woman who had spent eight years on dialysis before the procedure.

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