Saturday, May 06, 2006

Hospital Reconstruction is progressing

Hospitals destroyed by tsunami in Ampara District are to be reconstructed with the assistance of governmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). All arrangements have been finalized by the relevant authorities to reconstruct Periya Neelavanai Central Dispensary, Maruthamunai District Hospital, Sainthamaruthu District Hospital, Karaithivu Peripheral Unit, Ninthavur District Hospital, and Komari Central Dispensary, which have been completely destroyed by the tsunami and are now functioning in temporary shelters.

MERLIN, a medical/health organization from the United Kingdom, has undertaken a major role in rebuilding these hospitals and is actively engaged in completing this work. Under the Sri Lanka Government's approach to tsunami reconstruction, Build Back Better, MERLIN has undertaken the construction work for Periya Neelavanai Central Dispensary, Maruthamunai District Hospital, Karaithivu Peripheral Unit, and Komari Central Dispensary, and has commenced working on the Periya Neelavanai Central Dispensary, and Komari Central Dispensary. The process of acquiring new lands for the Maruthamunai District Hospital and Karaithivu Peripheral Unit is in progress and the reconstruction will begin after new locations are identified.

Meanwhile, reconstruction work for Sainthamaruthu District Hospital has begun with the Ministry of Infrastructure and the German Red Cross providing financial assistance and direction. At the same time the Ninthavur District Hospital, which is now functioning at a governmental school building, will be rebuilt at a yet-to-be-identified new location with the financial assistance of German Red Cross.

According to MERLIN's Community Development Officer, Shiraz Jaupher, Periya Neelavanai Central Dispensary is expected to be completed by November 2006 at a cost of Rs. 20 million, while the Komari Central Dispensary, costing Rs. 28.89 million, is expected to be declared to open by December of this year.

Six hospitals in the District are currently functioning in temporary shelters with minimum facilities causing people seeking treatments at these institutions to be subjected to many hardships. The people of Ampara District are hopeful that the hospitals will be completed soon so that the public can use these medical facilities without the present difficulties.

Above: MERLIN's Public Health Specialist, Dr. Ashok Sharma, lays the foundation stone for Komari Central Dispensary at Main Road in Komari, with Kalmunai Deputy Provincial Director of Health Services Dr. A.L.M. Nazeer, Regional Epidemiologist Dr. M.C.M. Mahir, and MERLIN officials also present.