From left: USAID Sri Lanka and Maldives Office of Governance and Vulnerable Populations Deputy Director Alena Tansey, Coordinating Secretary to Minister of Health Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Kanchana Jayaratne, US Embassy in Colombo Deputy Chief of Mission Martin Kelly, Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Pavithra Wanniarachchi, USAID Sri Lanka and Maldives Mission Director Reed Aeschliman, Additional Secretary (Development) Chandragupta, UNICEF Sri Lanka Representative Tim Sutton
- Gesture in support of COVID-19 response
The US Government’s development agency, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), has supplied critical medical supplies worth $ 102,310 (Rs. 19,054,214) to the Family Health Bureau (FHB) of the Ministry of Health and Indigenous Medical Services (MOH), to provide specialist care for high-risk COVID-19 patients requiring maternal and neonatal care.
The critical equipment, which will support Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 response was handed over to
Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Pavithra Wanniarachchi by US Embassy in Colombo Deputy Chief of Mission Martin Kelly, at a handover ceremony attended by UNICEF Sri Lanka Representative Tim Sutton and USAID Sri Lanka and Maldives Mission Director Reed Aeschliman.
The equipment included two Infant Incubators, four Labour Room Beds, four Cardiotocography (CTG) Machines, four Infant Warmers, four Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Machines, four Infusion Pumps, and four Syringe Pumps. These supplies will equip four COVID-19 isolation and treatment units specialised in maternal and neonatal care and were procured in direct response to the needs of the MOH.
US Deputy Chief of Mission to Sri Lanka and Maldives Martin Kelly said, “Through the generosity of the American people, we are happy to help make deliveries safer for mothers and babies during this global pandemic. For decades, the US has been the world’s largest provider of bilateral assistance in global health – putting countries across the world in a better position to respond during crises.”
UNICEF Sri Lanka Representative Tim Sutton said: “We thank the United States for their continued support to Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 response. The critical medical items handed over today will help to ensure that mothers and babies impacted by COVID-19 now or in the future have the best possible care and the ability to fully recover. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the United States as Sri Lanka’s response to COVID-19 progresses.”
The United States’ $ 600,000 grant to Sri Lanka through UNICEF supports the government’s multipronged response to COVID-19 including, risk communication and community engagement; hand washing and infection control (IPC); and improved water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in designated high-risk healthcare facilities, critical hygiene and infection prevention supplies to high-risk communities and treatment centres, as well as supplement data collection and analysis to improve overall COVID-19 emergency response.