Asia

Jan 14, 2021
This article originally was published by the US Embassy in Sri Lanka January 13:  The United States donated a mobile testing unit to the Regional Health Services in Moneragala, received by Dr. B.M.C. Dasanayaka, as part of the effort to fight COVID-19 in Sri Lanka and protect lives through early detection. The mobile unit will administer PCR tests and provide vital health services to 100 people daily in Moneragala communities hit hard by the pandemic. The mobile unit enables safe sample collection by avoiding direct contact and can be used in future for testing other communicable diseases, including dengue. “By making COVID-19 tests and other health related services accessible... Read more
Dec 23, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has compelled all sectors of society  to face new realities, particularly women as they face increased financial difficulties as well as having more responsibilities with children’s education at home which, for many, is now both the work place and learning space. Women in our society have the  extra burden of providing caregiving to their immediate and  extended family. Also, an increase in domestic violence is reported due to tensions and frustrations building up at home with the lockdown. Women in different segments of society are facing increased vulnerabilities and experience physical and mental assault. Women who are already at risk  due to the work they do are further marginalized and accused of perpetrating the virus spread. There is also a lack in engagement... Read more
Dec 23, 2020
By Kathya de Silva Senarath Over the last month, the U.S. Government donated 4,000 personal hygiene kits to low-income women in the Western Province in Sri Lanka. On November 23rd, 850 kits were handed off to Rosy Senanayake, the mayor of Colombo, to be distributed among Colombo Municipal Council workers and residents of Modara.  Many women in the targeted areas are too poor to afford personal hygiene products themselves or have been unable to obtain them due to movement restrictions put in place to combat COVID-19. The initiative was funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in collaboration with the Social Cohesion and Reconciliation (SCORE) project implemented by Global Communities. The kits included essential items such as sanitary pads, soap, shampoo,... Read more
Dec 23, 2020
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... Read more
Dec 22, 2020
By Kathya de Silva Senarath The Ministry of Health has instructed schools to take necessary steps to ensure basic precautionary measures against COVID-19. Among its many guidelines, the ministry recommends  setting up separate  health rooms at schools for isolation and related care when necessary. However, schools in marginalized areas have limited capacities to set up health rooms. There is a lack of proper equipment and beds to care for students in emergency situations. And even though some schools may have health rooms, many lack the proper equipment to provide good healthcare. SCORE supported 120 schools in the SCORE target districts of Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaithivu, Vavuniya, Trincomalee, Anuradhapura, Kandy, Moneragala, Batticaloa, and Ampara to set up health rooms. SCORE also... Read more
Dec 01, 2020
A panel discussion to mark the UN-declared 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence 9 December 2020, Wednesday, 03:30-05:00 p.m. To register visit: https://forms.gle/FgMw5KcGCAbKiGyS7 USAID Social Cohesion and... Read more
Nov 28, 2020
By Kathya de Silva Senarath Many agree that suspicion and cynicism against the Muslim community in Sri Lanka existed for some time alongside the larger ethnic tensions between Sinhalese and Tamils caused by the 30-year civil war. Competition on socio-economic gains, land issues – especially in the North and East – and the general lack of social cohesion between communities were some of the factors leading to longstanding conflict. Following the coordinated attacks by a terrorist group on Easter Sunday last year, hostility of extreme nationalists against the Muslim community became much more severe and led to widespread  hate speech, both  online and offline. These destructive acts led to a boycott of Muslim-owned businesses and even vandalism in some parts of the country. (Southern Sri... Read more
Nov 28, 2020
by Kathya de Silva Senarath The government opened its first regional Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) in Kilinochchi in the Northern Province on November 11, 2020, as a part of an island-wide program to increase capacities to treat the growing number of Covid-19 patients in the area. The USAID-funded Social Cohesion and Reconciliation Activity (SCORE) project, implemented by Global Communities, is proud to be a part of this milestone achievement of the Sri Lankan health authorities since the new IDH hospital is now directing  the SCORE donations made earlier this year to the Regional Director of Health Services (RDHS) Kilinochchi, making it possible for the hospital to open to the public sooner than it otherwise would have. As a part of the coronavirus emergency response, SCORE supported... Read more
Nov 28, 2020
By Kathya de Silva Senarath Before Covid-19 hit Sri Lanka, long queues were the usual scene at hospitals, and patients had to wait a long time to get medicine. Such was the case at the Vavuniya General Hospital as Samantha Sebanesarani, an Urban Councilor recalls, when she went for checkups. Additionally, the pharmacy closes during lunch time without anyone being allocated to distribute medicines and patients had to wait till the pharmacy reopened after lunch. For many years Sebanesarani put up with these inconveniences, until she attended trainings conducted by the Association for War Affected Women (AWAW) under USAID’s Social Cohesion and Reconciliation Activity (SCORE) project, implemented by Global Communities. It was then that she realized she could change the situation.   “As a... Read more
Nov 28, 2020
By Kathya de Silva Senarath The Covid-19 pandemic is not only a health issue— it is also an economic issue with businesses declaring bankruptcy and many losing livelihoods due to lockdowns and other disruptions to the economy. While significant focus must remain on addressing economic shocks and treating the physically ill, the pandemic’s impact on mental health also requires priority attention. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Covid-19 has disrupted or halted critical mental health services in many countries already, and demand continues to increase. WHO adds that the coronavirus  has reduced access to mental health services and that “bereavement, isolation, loss of income and fear are triggering mental health conditions or exacerbating existing ones,” adding  that... Read more
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