In Sri Lanka, cricket is not merely a sport but also a source of national pride and passion. It has stunning beaches, national parks, lush tea plantations, and beautiful temples. The country faced adversity during the 2022 political crisis, marked by a power struggle between President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the people. This turmoil had a profound impact on various sectors, including healthcare—notably, the Welimada Base Hospital in the town of Welimada in the Badulla district. Situated within an underserved community, it serves over 200,000 people and is underfunded by the Government. The most common diseases among patients in the surgical unit of this hospital include abdominal-related diseases such as hernia, appendicitis, laparoscopy, general pain, fractures, and road accident injuries.
I had the pleasure to talk to Dr. Gayathiri Nagalingam, a general surgeon at the Welimada Base Hospital. She mentioned that the hospital is ill-equipped, and the lack of basic medical equipment makes their job harder. She said there is not enough staff to meet patient demand adequately. Dr. Gayathiri sees about 50 patients a day with shifts that are over 24 hours.
Dr. Gayathiri also mentioned the surgical unit of this hospital struggles with low supplies, and they can’t have materials and equipment imported to the hospital due to the Government import policies and funding. Equipment requested was a pediatric pulse oximeter, PG touch cardiac monitor, adult saturation probes, sanitizer bottles, portable ventilators, elastoplastic, leucoplast, saline gauze, suture materials, laparoscopic LT 300, 400 Liga titanium clips, wheelchairs, fine dissecting forceps, John towels clips, fine mosquito forceps, No.11 blade blood pressure handle, small tissue scissors, suction drains, and sponge holders.
Recognizing the hospital’s urgent needs, an initial donation of approximately $550 was made to the hospital. This donation comprised one Contech 12.1" Multipara monitor CMS 8000 and two INFI Fingertip Pulse Oximeters.
Cypress Creek High School
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