German funding worth Rs. 4.3 b to boost maternity and child care

Friday, 17 August 2012 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Maternal and Child Health has been a long standing priority in National Health Policy. Therefore, the government gives high priority to modernise the hospital network countrywide in order to provide specialised care to strengthen maternal and newborn health care. Although, Sri Lanka has reduced maternal and child mortality ratios up to 31.1 per 100,000 live births and 10.9 per 1,000 live births respectively, the Government considers to further reduce the same, respectively to 20 per 100,000 live births and 4.5 per 1,000 live births respectively. Therefore, strengthening the services provided by the regional maternity hospitals poses a high priority.

Mahamodara Maternity Hospital in Galle, where around 12,000 deliveries are taken place and services are provided to approximately 24,000 mothers annually, is the only maternity hospital situated in the Southern Province. It was seriously damaged due to the Tsunami devastation and is being reconstructed with financial assistance of the Helmut Kohl Maternity Hospital Foundation. At present, construction work of the hospital has reached to the ground floor slab level and construction activities are held up due to the inadequacy of funds. On a request made by the Government of Sri Lanka, the Government of Germany has agreed to provide Approximately Rs. 4300 million (Euro 28 million) through KfW, one of the largest development finance banks in Germany, to complete the balance work of the hospital.

The objective of the project is to provide maternity and gynaecology health care services to the female population of the Southern Province by reconstructing the hospital with 600 bed maternity care facilities and 800 patients’ treatment facilities at the outpatient department (OPD). Further, it is also expected to improve facilities of consultation division, doctors and staff quarters and related infrastructure such as sewerage treatment and disposal unit, mortuary, lighting, power generation, car park etc.

In addition to the proposed loan facility from KfW, a grant of Euro 3 million will be provided by the Helmut Kohl Maternity Hospital Foundation for the provision of essential medical equipment.

Ministry of Health will be the executing agency of this project and it is scheduled to be completed in 2014. The Loan Agreement was signed yesterday between Ministry of Finance and Planning Secretary Dr. P B Jayasundera on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka and KfW Health and Social Security Division of Asia Head Dr. Marlis Sieburger.