By Naveendra Senarathna & Mahieash Johnney of SLRCS/IFRC Communications
04/02/2012 Thoppur, Sri Lanka: Since the conflict in Sri Lanka came to an end there is a massive development phase that is been rolled out in all parts of the country. As of now high ways, tallest towers, new roads, electricity, water, and other essential services are being established in areas where guns and mortars were experienced for over 30 years.
Such development event took place recently (3rd of February 2012) in Toppur, Eastern Sri Lanka, where the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) supported by the German Red Cross (GRC) and the European Union (EU) Returnee Assistant Project upgraded the Divisional Hospital in Toppur.
This upgrade, which comes at a cost of 17 million rupees, includes the construction of a new female ward, medical officer’s quarters, an ambulance garage & a kitchen to cook food for the patients.
The opening of the newly upgraded hospital took place at the presence of the Chief Minister of Eastern Province S. Pillayan, Vice Chairman of SLRCS Trincomalee Branch, Head of Operations of EU Mr. Willy Vanderburgh, Country Coordinator for the German Red Cross Dr. Tim Bray, Health District Medical Officer Dr. H. Herath, Programme Manager of SLRCS Mr. Nirosha Piyasena & the Branch Executive Officer of SLRCS Trincomalee Branch V. Chandrakumar.
Speaking at the event the Chief Minister of Eastern Province S. Pillayan thanked the SLRCS /EU / GRC initiative for taking steps to upgrade of these health facilities that would now served to the betterment of lives of the most vulnerable in the Toppur area.
“Our people in this area goes through such a hard condition every single day. I thank the Red Cross & the EU for taking this step to help these people. If these services are not provided in this hospital, then they have to travel hundred’s of miles to the Trincomalee General hospital. By the time they get there, the worst has happened.”
Meanwhile the SLRCS/EU/GRC project has undertaken the construction and upgrading of 5 facilities in the area.
This includes the construction of central dispensary & medical officer’s quarters in Chenaiyoor hospital, construction of a healthcare centre and patience’s waiting hall in Poonagar, construction of a healthcare centre and patience’s waiting hall in Mawadichchani and the construction of a staff quarters and a medical officer’s quarters in the Echchilampattu hospital.
The cost for all 5 facilities including the Toppur Divisional hospital stands at 53 million ruppes. (500,000 USD)