Sri Lanka Army’s yeoman service to achieve 50 pc vaccination
By Nisal Rukshan
With the spread of COVID -19 pandemic around the world, scientists and medical experts are committed to finding a solution to eradicate the Coronavirus or at least to minimize its spread by strengthening the human immune system which will help to reduce the death toll and further transmission of the virus.
After a strenuous struggle of medical experts throughout the globe, finally vaccines were manufactured as a solution, for the time being, to reduce the death rate. Many countries focused their attention on manufacturing different kinds of vaccines which was followed by vaccination drives all over the world.
In Sri Lanka, the first vaccine consignment consisted of 500,000 AstraZeneca Covishield vaccines that arrived from India as a donation on January 28, 2021. This consignment gifted by the Indian government was received at the Bandaranaike International Airport at a brief reception graced by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay, strengthening the friendship and bilateral ties between the two nations.
On the following day, (January 29) the immunization programme was inaugurated under the direction of the President and medical experts in the frontline of the COVID-19 prevention battle. According to reports of the Epidemiology Unit of the Health Ministry, on January 29, the vaccine was given to frontliners of the COVID-19 battle at the National Hospital of Sri Lanka, Colombo North Teaching Hospital, Colombo South Teaching Hospital, Army Hospital, Army Camp Panagoda, and for children at Lady Ridgeway Hospital, Base Hospital Homagama, Base Hospital Mulleriyawa and the Infectious Diseases Hospital.
Presently, the vaccination programme is operating in several centres located in different parts of the country with the Covishield, Sinopharm, Sputnik V, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Further, with the invaluable commitment of the medical experts of the Tri-forces, Public Health Inspectors and all employees in the health-related entities, Sri Lanka was able to reach a milestone by fully vaccinating 50 percent of the population of the country.
In the critical situation with the spread of the virus throughout the country, the Tri-forces have provided their fullest commitment towards vaccinating the people of the nation under the direction of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the leadership of Army Commander General Shavendra Silva who is Head of the National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) and Chief of Defence Staff.
Sri Lanka Army, as a disciplined and efficient resourceful organization in the country, commenced the vaccination programme on January 29 at the Army Hospital Colombo. Medical experts and medical staff of the Sri Lanka Army extended their help to the vaccination programme by vaccinating Parliamentarians, Judges, and foreign diplomats.
Free Trade Zone Vaccination
A medical team of the Sri Lanka Army utilized its resources and commenced providing vaccines to the employees at free trade zones in different parts of the country. The programme was in full swing, and it immensely helped to maintain the economic stability in the country by immunizing the workforce.
24 Hour Vaccination Centres
The Army did not stop by doing the above. Broadening the avenues to expedite the vaccination drive, with the leadership of the Army Commander, Director-General Army Health Service, Director Army Health Services, and the Director of Sri Lanka Army Preventive Medicine and Mental Health commenced operating the 24-hour vaccination centres. The Army’s medical staff is carrying out their duties enthusiastically at these vaccinating centres, shouldering the responsibility of inoculating citizens, no matter whether it is day or night.
The first 24-hour Vaccination Center was started at the Viharamahadevi Park. Subsequently, another centre was opened to the public at Diyatha Uyana, joining the mission of eradicating the invisible enemy from the country as the Protectors of the Nation.
The Army did not stop there, but expanded its contribution to the country with the commencement of vaccination programmes with the help of Army medical experts at the Army Hospitals in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Panagoda, Mullaitivu, Minneriya, Diyathalawa, and Anuradhapura under the supervision of the Security Forces Headquarters.
Mobile Vaccination Drive
During the vaccination programme, it was found that some elderly people are not in a position to travel to vaccination centres due to various difficulties. As a solution, the Colombo Municipal Council started a mobile vaccination programme on a small scale. With the aim of strengthening this process, as the head of the NOCPCO, General Shavendra Silva introduced a highly effective and efficient mobile vaccination drive around the country utilizing the medical experts of the Army. The programme is highly effective and immensely benefitting not only the elderly but also people with different disabilities.
The Health Ministry, NOCPCO, Epidemiology Unit of the Health Ministry together with medical experts, doctors, PHIs, medical staff and members of the Tri-Forces and Police islandwide joined hands in innumerable ways to strengthen this vaccination programme with the prime intention of protecting the nation by vaccinating every citizen in the country.
Still, the medical experts, doctors, PHIs, medical staff, health workers and medical staff of the Tri-Forces are in the field, contributing by committing their service, time and energy selflessly for the betterment of the nation.
Courtesy - www.dailynews.lk