2ND LEAD

Ki'linochchi hospital urges civilians to donate fuel to continue critical services

[TamilNet, Friday, 10 October 2008, 22:13 GMT]
Unable to relocate three critical services, the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Surgery Unit and the Maternity Ward, the Ki'linochchi hospital is forced to continue these services from the town, even after most of the civilians have fled the urban centre of Vanni, hospital spokesperson said. As fuel required to run the three critical units has reached dangerously low levels, Medical authorities at the hospital have urged civilians in Vanni to donate fuel to operate the basic services to save lives. Fuel supplies for September and October months are yet to reach the hospital.

The streets of Ki'linochchi were still active on Friday with ambulances and civilian traffic, amid visible destruction caused by Sri Lankan air strikes that had targeted civilian infrastructure during the last week with artillery barrage reaching the town and its suburbs.

The town with roofless houses abandoned by the civilians who have vacated their homes is yet serving the civilians with its hospital, which was running out of fuel for necessary electricity supplies needed to operate the critical services. This has prompted the medical staff at the hospital to publish urgent notice in local media seeking the civilians to contribute with fuel.

Three babies were born Wednesday in the maternity ward amid distant shelling, said Dr. Saththiyamoorthy, the Deputy Provincial Director of Health (DPDH) of Ki'linochchi district.

Dr. Saththiyamoorth also serves as the Medical Superintendent (MS) of the hospital. His assisting DPDH was looking after the medical affairs at Tharmapuram hospital. Many of the staff and patients of the hospital have been relocated to Tharmapuram hospital in Ka'ndaava'lai division.

There are hundreds of patients lying on the ground in the corridors of the Tharmapuram hospital, according to TamilNet correspondent who visited the hospital on Thursday. 1,200 outpatients were treated at Tharmapuram hospital on Thursday alone.

It was very difficult to relocate all the services from the hospital premises in Ki'linochchi town to a single spot, away from the shelling range, Dr. Saththiyamoorthy said, citing logistic problems.

Hospitals in the district continue to send pregnant mothers in ambulances to Ki'linochchi town amid trying conditions during the final hours of delivery. The medical staff at the maternity ward of the Ki'linochchi hospital transfer the mother and the newborn back to remote hospitals after attending the birth.

The hospital in the town continues to function with fewer number of inpatients with very much reduced supply of vital drugs. 160 outpatients received treatment at the hospital in the town on Thursday. Nearly 300 inpatients were warded at the hospital until about five days back.

Some equipment and furniture from the hospital has already been transported to Visvuvamadu in an attempt to continue some of the basic services at a school accessible to the civilians from there. However, the facility is yet to become operative.

Meanwhile, three lorries loaded with various medicines to be brought into Vanni are yet to be allowed across the entry point at Oamanthai by the Sri Lanka Army.

 

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