Monday, November 28, 2022

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US steps into provide medical aid to Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s state-run hospitals are running out of life-saving medicines due to a shortage of dollars needed to import essentials as the country reels from a dire economic crisis, officials said

Teaching Hospital Peradeniya which serves a population of 2.4 million people in the Central province said it was suspending all routine surgeries and was out of anesthetic drugs and other essentials for operations.

A surgeon at the main National Hospital in Colombo said they were short of many vital medicines and patients requiring human insulin were told to bring their own.

“The situation is very grave and we need a disaster management initiative to deal with the worsening situation,” said Ravi Kumudesh, the head of the Medical Laboratory Technologists Association (MLTA).

He said they were unable to carry out diagnostics as most chemicals and solutions needed for their tests were not freely available at state hospitals.

Meanwhile, the government said it allowed suppliers — hit by higher costs — to hike by 30% prices of all medical devices, including stents for heart patients.

Doctors across Sri Lanka say hospitals are running out of medicines and essential supplies as the country’s economic crisis worsens. They fear a health catastrophe if international help doesn’t arrive soon

Under this set up the US has stepped in to provide medical aid to Sri Lanka helping the island nation to overcome the shortage of medicines.

Another consignment of medical aid worth USD 2.74 million donated by Hope Worldwide, an American humanitarian donor organization, and is due in Sri Lanka in the first week of October, the Embassy of Sri Lanka to the United States said.

The Embassy of Sri Lanka to the United States, working in collaboration with renowned American humanitarian donor organizations, has achieved a significant milestone in provision of free medicines and medical supplies to Sri Lanka from July to October 2022.

Three consignments have already been sent to the Ministry of Health and a fourth is expected to land on 02 October.

The total value of the 4 consignments is over US Dollars 12,645,150. At today’s exchange rate, this is worth approximately SL Rupees 4.6 billion.

Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the United States, Mahinda Samarasinghe, who reached out to US donor organizations earlier this year, has conveyed his heartfelt gratitude to the three donors

Heart to Heart International, Hope Worldwide and Americares has proved timely and potentially lifesaving for hundreds of thousands of Sri Lankans in dire need.

Commencing in July 2022, Heart to Heart International has sent two consignments worth US$ 9.131 million. The consignment from Americares arrived in Colombo earlier in September and is valued at over USD 773,000.

The last consignment from Hope Worldwide is worth over USD 2.74 million and is due in Sri Lanka in the first week of October.

The Ministry of Health which takes charge of the shipments will provide detailed distribution reports to the donors specifying the recipients and local destinations for these medicines and medical supplies, the Embassy said in a statement.

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