Government restricting medical supplies - Jaffna hospital

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 20 January 1998, 23:59 GMT]
The callousness of both the Sri Lankan Government and the army, has contributed to the rise in the incidence of Malaria in the Jaffna Peninsula, said hospital sources in Jaffna.

Dr. S Theivendram, Medical Officer of Health in the Jaffna Municipal Council (JMC) complained yesterday that Malaria, which on instances has proved fatal due to the lack of prompt and effective treatment, was because Sri Lankan Government authorities are restricting the supplies of medicines to fight the disease.

He said that whereas 200 boxes of medicine are required in the Jaffna District per day to combat the disease effectively, the Sri Lankan Government is supplying only 200 boxes for a month.

The other reason for the alarming spread of Malaria is the deteriorating sanitary conditions in the Jaffna MC. Shrubs lie uncleared and the dust bins are overflowing because the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) is using the Jaffna Municipal Council labourers to do other work.

Sixty labourers were taken by the SLA last week to clean up the grounds of the temporary Jaffna library in preparation for the opening ceremonies. And furthermore about 70 - 75 labourers are currently working on the reconstruction of the Durraiappah Stadium in Jaffna town.

Dr. Theivendram said that he had informed the Municipal Commissioner, P Balasingham about the problem, who had represented matters to the military. But it had been of no avail.

Mr. Balasingham is reported to have said, "The army just does not understand."

Malaria has spread at an alarming rate in the districts of the North following flooding from the Northeast monsoon and the congestion in the towns due to the large number of refugees uprooted by the military operations in Tamil areas .

 

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