Japan donates ambulances to NE hospitals

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 23 March 2004, 17:26 GMT]
Mr.Hiroshi Karube, Charge d' Affaires of the Japanese Embassy in Colombo, Tuesday handed over a consignment of six ambulances and three transport vehicles to the hospitals in the northeast and in the neighbouring districts under the Japanese Government funded Project for Improvement of Maternal and Child Health Care in the Conflict Affected areas.

Japan donates Ambulances
Mr.Hiroshi Karube speaking
Mr. Karube officially handed over the documents of the vehicles allocated for the districts in the northeast to the Chief Secretary, Mr.S.Rangarajah, and for the adjoining districts to the Additional Secretary to the Line Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Welfare Dr.Nihal Jayatilake.

Mr.Rangarajah in turn handed over the vehicles allocated to the northeast districts of Jaffna, Mannar and Vavuniya to the Provincial Secretary for Health Mr.R.M.S.Ratnayake who later handed them to the respective Deputy Provincial Directors of Health Services. Dr.Nihal Jayatilake handed the vehicles allocated to the adjoining districts of Anuradhapura and Moneragala to their respective Deputy Provincial Directors of Health Services.

Both events held Tuesday in the premises of the provincial health ministry office in Trincomalee.

At the commencement of the event the guests were taken to the venue in a procession with the band of Trincomalee Methodist Girls' College in attendance.

UNICEF's Sri Lanka Representative Mr. Ted Chaiban, UNICEF Head of Early Childhood Programme Dr.Aberra Bekkele, the First Secretary of the Japanese Embassy in Colombo Ms Noriko Iseki, UNICEF Trincomalee zonal head Ms. Gabriele Elroy and several other officials participated.

Mr.Rangarajah in his welcome address said the provincial administration has been forced to face to lot of institutional oriented impediments in taking forward the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the war ravaged northeast province. The donation of ambulances and transport vehicles to the hospitals in the conflicted areas would certainly remove such impediments in a big way. He thanked the Japanese government for its generous contribution to strengthen the weakened health institutions in the northeast due to war.

Japan donates Ambulances
The ambulances and transport vehicles donated by the Japanese government are seen in the provincial health ministry premises in Trincomalee.

Mr.Hiroshi Karube said, "This donation has come under the fund of the Japanese government, a sum of Rupees 250 million, to support the Project for Improvement of Maternal and Child Health Care in the conflict-affected areas which has been channeled through the UNICEF".

" The conflict has made a huge damage on every aspect of human life and development, including the health infrastructure and service for women and children," said Mr. Karube.

"Japan has been intensively supporting various activities to facilitate peace process of this country and also to eliminate causes of conflict. Japan has been taking the key role to support this country by utilizing financial assistance for rehabilitating the war affected area and as well as for supporting the development of the whole country", said Mr. Karube

The Japanese project has been implemented in the eight districts of the northeast, which have suffered significant devastation from the conflict and four adjacent districts, UNICEF sources said.

The project supports the construction and rehabilitation of maternity and neonatal services in 10 major hospitals to provide emergency obstetric care and care of newborns-key interventions that have an impact on maternal and infant mortality reduction. It ensures that all basic equipments for improved maternal care and neo natal care provided to 18 hospitals. The project will also provide essential equipments needed for obstetric care, neo natal care, laboratory and operating theaters in 8 selected hospitals to provide comprehensive emergency obstetric care and to strengthen the immunization services, Mr. Ted Chaiban said.

Mr. Ted Chaiban said" On behalf of UNICEF and my own behalf, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the people of and the Government of Japan for their generous financial contribution of 250 million rupees to UNICEF to support the speedy restoration of maternal and child health services in the northeast and adjacent districts".

"Malnutrition still remains to be a major developmental challenge in the northeast. Approximately one out of every four babies is born with low birth weight (below 2.5 kg). Nearly one in two children is underweight compared to the national average of 29 percent. The greatest tragedy of malnutrition is that it prevents children from reaching their full growth and development pestilential", Mr. Ted Chaiban further said.

Mr. Ted Chaiban added "With the strong commitment to peace by both the Government and the LTTE, I am confident that further opportunities to improve the life of women and children in Sri Lanka in general and the northeast in particular will soon be realized."

Provincial Director of Health Services Dr.V.Kumaravetpillai proposed the vote of thanks.
Japan donates Ambulances
Mr.Karube ( third from left) hands over vehicles' documents to Mr.Rangarajah ( second from left) UNICEF head Mr.Ted Chaiban and Provincial Ministry of Health Secretary Mr.Ratnayake ( fourth and fifth from left ) with are also seen


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