Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Merlin Opens Central Dispensary

The UK NGO Merlin opened the first health centre it has constructed in Ampara District on Saturday, March 3rd. Built in Periyaneelavanai, this central dispensary will open its doors to provide access to much needed curative services and health care for 6,500 local residents, including tsunami survivors in the nearby displacement camps.

The dispensary was constructed at a cost of 100,000/- Sterling Pounds and replaces a previous structure constructed by NECORD that had opened just four days prior to 2004 tsunami before being destroyed. The local community donated the land for the new facility through the Patchchi Amman Hindu Kovil in January 2005.

After cutting the ribbon in the opening ceremonies, Dr. Jaganathan (Consultant - Ministry of Health for the Eastern Province) thanked Merlin for having come forward to build the centre and asked for the NGO's assistance in constructing an attached ward as well. He also thanked the trustees of the Hindu Kovil and the individual who donated some of the lands personally. Dr. Jaganathan expressed great happiness at the fact that, at a time when brothers fight even for an inch of land, an individual has willingly donated their own land for public use.

In addition to other Merlin staff, the organisation's country director, Michelle Brown, and Project Coordinator, Penny Boddington, were present at the opening, as were A.L.M. Nazeer (DPDHS), Health Department officials, doctors, and others.Above: Dr. V. Jeganathan - Consultant of the Ministry of Health for the Eastern Province (left with garland) is seen along with Dr. A.L.M. Nazeer - Deputy Provincial Director of Health (2nd from left), Penny Boddington - Merlin Project Coordinator (2nd from right), and Dr. Chatura Jayakody of Central Dispensary, Periyaneelavanai (far right).