US helps to upgrade health care facilities in Eastern Province

Monday, 28 November 2011 00:02 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The United States Government last week handed over three newly-constructed wards and a renovated administrative unit, along with much-needed furniture, to the Karadiyanaru Divisional Hospital in Batticaloa of Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province.

The US Embassy in Colombo in a statement said that the Embassy’s development arm, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the US Pacific Command (PACOM), funded the project to upgrade the facility.

The upgraded facility is expected to provide accessible, quality health care to 35 in-patients and 150 out-patients daily. The cost of this entire project is estimated at approximately $ 577,000 (Rs. 65.8 million).

Sri Lanka Ministry of Health has conferred divisional status on the hospital in 2002, recognising expanded needs in a growing local population.

However, all units, including wards, laboratory, emergency treatment and doctors’ quarters, continued to be in one building. The hospital has sustained damage during the conflict and suffered additional damage from an explosion at the nearby Karadiyanaru Police building in 2010.

According to the Embassy, the expanded facility serves roughly 35,000 people in and around Karadiyanaru, most of them resettled after years of displacement.

Featuring modern water and sanitation systems, the new wards – male, female and maternity – will bring quality medical care within easy reach for a previously underserved population, the Embassy said.

USAID is also helping promote awareness of counseling and mental health services offered in the hospital’s strengthened psychosocial clinic.

Handing over the facility to the Sri Lankan health officials, the Deputy Chief of Mission for the US Embassy in Colombo Valerie Fowler said: “Through the completion of this project, the US Embassy is pleased to help the residents of this region move ahead with their lives by strengthening their connection with vital Government services.”

The American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, have provided development and humanitarian assistance in developing countries worldwide for nearly 50 years.  Since 1956, the U.S. Government has invested over $2 billion to benefit all the people of Sri Lanka.