Medi-snippets: Sri Lanka’s perinatal deaths have declined - report | Sunday Observer

Medi-snippets: Sri Lanka’s perinatal deaths have declined - report

Consultant Physician, Family Health Bureau ( FHB) Dr Kapila Jayaratne was quoted as saying that a health report has shown that still births and neo natal deaths have declined in the recent past. Citing figures from the FHB’s Maternal and Child Morbidity and Mortality Surveillance Unit, in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund ( UNICEF) , he said the report studied still births in Sri Lanka between 2014 and 2017 and found the rates had dropped to 6.8% in 2017 comparing well with many developed countries. He was quoted as saying that Sri Lanka was the only country in the region to have a perinatal death surveillance system, and that the system evolved over time with the addition of new mechanisms would help monitor perinatal deaths and prevent them too.

New penalties to reduce road accidents

The Government is to introduce a new program to discipline reckless drivers and prevent the growing number of injuries and deaths from road accidents, Transport and civil Aviation State Minister Ashoka Abesinghe was quoted as saying last week.

Opening the debate on the 2nd Reading of the Motor Traffic Amendment Bill he reportedly said that drivers who exceed a speed limit by 20% would be imposed a fine between Rs 3,000 - 5,000, those exceeding the limit by 20-30% would be fined between Rs 5,000- 10,000, while those exceeding the limit between 30-50% would be fined Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000. Exceeding this limit could warrant a fine of Rs 25,000.

The decision to increase penalties for miscreant drivers follow the spike in the number of road accidents most of them young motor cyclists, whose pre mature deaths could have been avoided, he noted. According to Police traffic data in 2017, 3,154 persons had died of road accidents while 3,113 had died in 2018.

At present there are 400,000 motorcyclists registered in the country who are at risk of becoming victims of road accidents leading to fatalities and disabilities, the Minister was quoted as saying.

Road Traffic authorities reportedly said that awareness raising programs were being conducted across the country to teach drivers the basic rules of good driving while checks were being maintained to rule out under age driving. Driving under the influence of alcohol will also be penalised they said.

Traffic Lane law to be enforced

Police sources have reportedly said that they were now enforcing the Traffc Lane law after a two week grace period to motorists.

They said this would ease congestion on roads, improve journey time reliability and ensure safety.

Rural hospitals get ambulances

In keeping with its promise, the Health Ministry will provide ambulances to rural hospitals that lack them, health sources were quoted as saying.

At a ceremony at the Wahakotte St Antony’s Church, initially four ambulances were provided to the Galewela, Madipola , Yatawatte and Ovilakanda Hospitals .

Vocational training for differently-abled

The Thelambuyaya Vocational Training Centre in Angunakolapelessa in Hambantota has commenced a vocational training program for differently abled youth in the southern region, fulfilling a great need for handicapped youth.

Informed sources said agriculture, wood technology, tailoring, electronics, computer studies as well as pastry and bakery courses were included in the course.

Trainees will receive an allowance, free lodging and be able to find jobs easily after following the course, a senior spokesman for the institute said. The Department of Social Services is reportedly funding and handling the programs.

New Wayamba Uni Medical Faculty gets underway

The construction work of the proposed Medical Faculty of the Wayamba University is underway in Kuliyapitiya , informed sources have said. They said the Kuliyapitiya Hospital will also be upgraded to a Teaching Hospital with modern infrastructural facilities and linked to the Wayamba University thereafter. The project costing Rs 29 billion has been reportedly funded through the budget.

Drugs to be purchased on E-Procurement

Health Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne has reportedly said that arrangements will be made to introduce E-Procurement to cut down the time spent on purchasing drugs by calling tenders following the traditional system. He reportedly said that previously nine months was spent to purchase a drug but the time has now been reduced to three months. E-procurement will further reduce this time period. The system is already in use in countries such as India and Malaysia he was quoted as saying, and that the prices of 64 drugs increased by 14% this year due to the value of the dollar rising to Rs 183, and that arrangements would be made to reduce the prices of medicinal drugs as soon as the value of the dollar goes down again.