UNICEF helping renovate hospitals in former LTTE areas

Last Updated: Thursday, May 27, 2010 - 19:23

Colombo: A year after the defeat of the
LTTE, the United Nations children`s fund is actively assisting
in reviving the hospitals and health facilities in the war
ravaged areas of northern Sri Lanka once dominated by the
Tiger rebels.

The UNICEF is refurbishing and renovating four Gramodaya
Health Centres in the Northern Province and is also
modernising and equipping the obstetric and paediatric units
of the Mullaithivu General Hospital.

The UNICEF today re-establish emergency obstetric and
paediatric care at the Kilinochchi General Hospital damaged
during the conflict.

In a special event, Economic Development Minister Basil
Rajapaksa, along with UNICEF Representative Philippe Duamelle,
re-opened the new facility.

The hospital is now equipped to handle complicated
obstetric procedures and allow pregnant mothers to deliver
their babies safely, says a UNICEF release.

Besides providing assistance for the operation theatre,
labour room, maternity and paediatric wards that were
refurbished and equipped, UNICEF will also help provide a
special baby care unit in the Kilinochchi hospital.

As a result, pregnant women, mothers and children will no
longer need to travel long distances to access specialised
health care, the release said.

"This project will serve the health needs of thousands of
women and children now returning back to their homes" said the
UNICEF Representative Philippe Duamelle at the opening.

While Sri Lanka is doing well in preventing maternal
deaths with 37 per 100,000 live births, there are regional
disparities in maternal mortality across the country, the
UNICEF release said.

This were further affected by the conflict in the north
and east, it said.

"UNICEF is committed to continue supporting the
restoration of quality health and nutrition services in these
areas," Duamelle said.

In addition to the Kilinochchi hospital, Minister Basil
Rajapaksa and Philippe Duamelle also opened the Musali
maternity building in Mannar district constructed by UNICEF.

The total estimated cost of Rs 154 million for restoring
these health facilities is funded by UNICEF, the release said.

Contributions for the facilities were also received from
the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID),
UK Department for International Development (DFID), United
States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the
Government of Spain, it said.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, May 27, 2010 - 19:23
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