USAID SCORE in Sri Lanka Supports Hospitals and Health Offices in Matara and Kalutara to Contain COVID-19 Spread

With the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Sri Lanka, health authorities experienced an urgent need of personal protective equipment (PPE) to contain the spread of the virus, but since contagion is rapid, authorities are struggling with limited resources. Some Medical Officer of Health (MOH) offices in Matara do not even have enough thermal scanners for use by their Public Health Inspectors (PHIs).

SCORE provided Kamburugamuwa hospital in Matara with face shields, thermal scanners, sprayers, boots, foot and head covers, masks, gloves and PPE. Thermal scanners were handed over to the newly established Walana hospital, as well as MOH offices in Weligama and Welipitiya in the Matara district. Walana hospital received the items on the same day it commenced operations after the emergence of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 100  COVID-19 patients are treated in each of the above hospitals. The Welipitiya MOH had only one thermal scanner for all six PHI divisions, while the Weligama MOH did not have a single thermal scanner for their six PHIs. SCORE provided five thermal scanners for each MOH.

The assistance helped ease tensions in the highly stressful environment, since the interventions assisted multi-ethnic populations in both MOH divisions.

 “We are grateful to Global Communities/USAID for this support. This kind of support is essential for us to end this pandemic in Sri Lanka,” said Dr. M.W.M.K Mediwaka, Director, General Hospital Matara. 

“Global Communities/USAID provided the first donation to this new hospital. We still have more requirements but Global Communities/USAID gave us this very valuable equipment and we are grateful,” said Dr. Jagath Samarasekara, District Medical Officer in charge of Walana Hospital.

M. H. Nihal, Supervisor, Public Health Inspector of Weligama added: “We randomly visit fisheries yards in Mirissa and Kaparatota but we didn’t even have a thermal scanner until Global Communities/USAID donated them.”

SCORE also provided protective equipment to the Bandaragama District Hospital in the Kalutara District during the lockdown in several Grama Niladhari divisions. Hospital authorities requested  support because  they had run out of most of the equipment required to treat patients.

Dr. Lalanthika Gunasekara. District Medical Officer, Bandaragama District Hospital said: “This donation is a great support to us. We had only two thermal scanners and both were not working properly. So thank you for your timely assistance.”

SCORE, through this support, contributed to ensure a healthy and safe environment for hospital workers and patients while helping to contain the spread of the virus.

Region: Asia, Sri Lanka
Area of expertise: Global Health, Covid-19