Sri Lanka

Improving healthcare in the north of Sri Lanka

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By M. Zafran Packeerally, Communications Officer, IFRC, Colombo

The newly built medical ward, surgical ward and the doctors’ quarters at the Chavakachcheri Base Hospital in Jaffna was vested to the public yesterday (19th Dec).

President of the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society, Jagath Abeysinghe, Secretary General of the Finish Red Cross, Kristiina Kumpula and Susanna Cunningham representing the Irish Red Cross jointly opened the newly built wards, which were constructed at a cost of 158 million Sri Lankan Rupees. The construction was implemented by the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society and was funded by the Finish Red Cross and the Irish Red Cross.

Furthermore, 20 million rupees worth medical equipments were also handed over to the hospital.

Speaking at the event Dr.A.Ketheswaran, Regional Director of Health Services of the Government of Sri Lanka, said “…These new facilities will not only serve the people of Chavakachcheri, but the entire population of the Jaffna peninsula…”

The ward complex consista dotors’ on call room, consultants’ room, drug store and several other facilities as well.

Chairman of the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society Jaffna branch, Professor V.K. Ganesalingam, Head of Operation & Services of the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society, Col. Sudath Madugalle, officials of Jaffna the branch and other senior health ministry officials were also present at the opening ceremony.

Project briefing

Chavakachcheri Base Hospital located in the Jaffna Peninsula, 17 km away from the Jaffna town. This hospital was affected by the conflict that ravaged the north for over 30 years. During the time of the war the hospital ran operations with minor facilities. After the end of the conflict, the government with the support of severalnon government organizations reconstructed the front administration block and paediatric wards (children ward), as well as some temporary medical wards.

In this backdrop, the Ministry of Health and Regional Director of Health Service together made a request tothe Sri Lanka Red Cross Society toconstruct a new medical and a surgical ward for this hospital.

Lack of doctors’ quarters was also an issue for the hospital authorities.

The construction period was 300 days and was commenced on the 25thof August 2010.

The two story male ward spans over 1000 square meter area and the ground floor was utilised as a medical ward and the upper floor was allocated as a surgical ward.

The two story doctor quarters have 4 housing setups with all necessary facilities.

SLRCS Technical Services Support Unit utilised their technical expertise on this behalf.