UN Population Fund Director visits Trincomalee
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 28 September 2005, 00:44 GMT]
Mr. Sultan A.Aziz, Director, Asia and the Pacific Division of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Tuesday paid an official visit to the Trincomalee district accompanied by Ms. Lubna Baqi, UNFPA's Sri Lanka representative and Country Director for Maldives, and Mr. Rainer Frauenfled, Country Co-ordinator of the Sri Lanka Project Implementation Facility
(SLPIF) of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and viewed the destruction caused by tsunami nine months ago in the coastal areas of the district and assessed the urgent needs for the recovery from the natural disaster, health ministry sources said.
He and his party arrived by air at the Chinabay airport Tuesday morning and were received by Dr.E. G. Gnanagunalan, Deputy Provincial Director of Health Services (DPDHS) at the airport. Later he visited Kinniya division where he inspected the tsunami destroyed district government hospital and the office building of the Medical Officer of Health. Later he laid the first foundation stone for the new MOH building, which is to be constructed at an estimated cost of 23.7 million rupees funded by the UNFPA and to be implemented by UNOPS. Mr.Najeeb Abdul Majeed, Minister for Trincomalee Rehabilitation and Development and other guests also laid foundation stones for the project.
The project is expected to be completed in nine months. Currently the MOH's office is functioning temporarily in a small building struggling to conduct medical clinics for pregnant mothers and children, health ministry sources said.
Provincial Health Ministry Secretary Mr.L.C.Siriwardene, Provincial Director of Health Services Dr.V.Kumaravetpillai, Dr.Gnanagunalan, Kinniya Divisional Secretary Mr.M. Ashraff and MOH Dr.M.Sameem participated in the event. Mr. Sultan A.Aziz then visited the Kinniya district hospital functioning in tents temporarily till the proposed two-storied hospital with 160 beds and other facilities is constructed. The Government of Italy has agreed to fund this project and has called for tenders for the construction of this hospital, health ministry sources said.
During his visit he paid a courtesy call on Mr.S.Rangarajah, Chief Secretary of the North East Provincial Council (NEPC) at the latter's office. Thereafter he attended a discussion held at the provincial health ministry auditorium presided by Mr.L.C.Siriwardene, provincial health secretary.
Dr.Gnanagunalan presented a paper at the discussion about health situation in the district. Trincomalee district, which had been badly, affected by the two decade old war but the tsunami has made the situation worse.
Thereafter Mr. Sultan Aziz visited the century old Trincomalee general hospital and inspected the children ward, which was damaged by tsunami. He inspected the facilities provided to the maternity ward and labor room.
Dr.Ms Gnanagunalan Medical Superintendent of the hospital briefed him about the shortcoming of the hospital and urgent needs of the institution, sources said.
He concluded his itinerary in Trincomalee Tuesday afternoon with a visit to historic Trincomalee Koneswaram Temple, which is located on the hill inside the Fort Frederick, sources said.