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Project to expand access to care in area ravaged by tsunami and civil war
Stamford, Conn. – June 21, 2012 – AmeriCares will break ground on a major addition to the Mullaitivu District General Hospital in northeastern Sri Lanka on Saturday – the aid organization’s third major hospital expansion project in recent years.
The $1 million project will add three new buildings and increase the hospital’s capacity to serve the growing population. Residents who fled the region during the country’s long-running civil war are beginning to return home, increasing the demand for hospital services. One of the new buildings will house a 53-bed surgical ward with two operating rooms, recovery area, intensive care unit and central sterilizing facility for all of the hospital’s equipment and supplies. The other two buildings will add housing for 42 physicians.
“The new facilities will upgrade the services available to the area’s 90,000 residents and help retain top doctors to oversee their care,” said Rachel Granger, AmeriCares vice president of post-emergency programs. “The hospital has long struggled to retain medical talent because of the difficulty in finding suitable housing in the rural area, and the new housing is expected to help draw the country’s top physicians.”
About 90 miles to the south, AmeriCares recently completed construction on an 83,000-square-foot addition to the Trincomalee District General Hospital expected to open this summer. In 2009, AmeriCares built a $3.2 million wing onto the District Base Hospital at Elpitiya, doubling the number of beds and adding the first private delivery rooms in the region.
The hospital projects are part of AmeriCares long-term response to the December 2004 tsunami, made possible by an unprecedented outpouring of support from donors. To date, AmeriCares has invested $45 million to rebuild schools, hospitals, water systems and livelihoods for survivors in Sri Lanka, Indonesia and India. In all, the organization has built or renovated more than 40 health care facilities across Southeast Asia.
AmeriCares has provided medical relief and humanitarian assistance to millions affected by natural and man-made disasters for 30 years. Its emergency response experts have responded to the world’s worst disasters including last year’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and Hurricane Katrina in the United States. AmeriCares relief work often lasts years after an emergency as it helps restore health services for survivors.