People in East receive new health facilities from UNICEF
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has built a
new maternity and paediatric ward complex and established Regional
Medical Supplies Division (RMSD) for the benefit of the people living in
the Eastern Province. According to a press release issued by the UNICEF
office Sri Lanka, the two new facilities will be added to the public
health network from today (Aug 25) onwards.
The press release in full:
Today two new health facilities will be added to the
health network of the Eastern Province. The new Maternity & Children's
Ward of the Pottuvil District Hospital will be declared open in the
morning, while the Regional Medical Supplies Division (RMSD) Kalmunai
will be inaugurated later the same day. Both projects are part of the
UNICEF-supported Tsunami Infrastructure Reconstruction Programme in Sri
The new maternity and paediatric ward complex, costing
Rs 103.5 million, will serve more than 45,000 people in the area and
include: a paediatric ward, maternity ward, emergency treatment unit and
an administrative block. Each ward has a capacity of 30 beds.
"We are really happy that the population of this area
will benefit from modern facilities, complete with adequate water and
electricity supplies," said Dr. A. Ameenudeen, District Medical Officer
It is now anticipated that the maternity facilities
will provide a 24 hour service, enable the posting of a visiting
obstetrician & gynaecologist in Pottuvil and thus reduce the number of
home deliveries, while increasing the hospital's current 20-30
deliveries per month to 100.
"This is expected to be an excellent addition to an
area and a population which suffered greatly because of the Tsunami, and
it will make a sizeable difference to the pregnant women and newborns of
Pottuvil," said the head of UNICEF's Ampara office Mr Damascus Macheri.
Monday afternoon's opening of the Regional Medical
Supplies Division will serve the Kalmunai Regional Director of Health
Service areas and its population of 422,000. It will be the regional hub
for 13 medical officers of health areas and 32 regional health
facilities which include: three Base Hospitals, eight District
Hospitals, four Divisional hospitals, and 13 Central dispensaries. Other
facilities that will use the RMSD are the STD Unit, Tuberculosis Control
unit, and anti-malaria control unit.
The Rs 50 million facility will store all medical
supplies required for the Kalmunai RDHS area - vaccines, drugs and
"Prior to the tsunami, we did not have a separate
dedicated store for the region and now thanks to the generosity of our
donors, we have a store closer to us, with all modern facilities to
maintain a regular supply of drugs and basic medical equipment," said
Dr. A.L. M. Nazeel, who has been serving as Regional Director Health
Services, Kalmunai for the past seven years.
The UNICEF supported Tsunami Infrastructure
Reconstruction Programme in the East has included the construction of
eight schools and five Gramodaya Health Centres in various locations.
Earlier this year the maternity wards and labour room in Thirukkovil,
together with staff quarters, were handed over as a part of the tsunami
recovery programme. Work on the extension of the maternity and labour
room in the Akkaraipattu District Hospital is ongoing.