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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 109

Celltel completes construction of 32 Gramodaya Health Centres in Tsunami affected areas

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

Colombo, 21 March, ( Consequent to discussions with the Ministry of Health, Celltel Lanka (Pvt) Ltd on an MOU signed with the Government of Sri Lanka was able to complete the construction of 32 Gramodaya Health Centres in the Western, Southern and Eastern Provinces that were devastated by the 2004 December Tsunami at a cost of Rs 180 million.

Duminda Ratnayaka, CEO, Celltel, said that organizations worldwide had undertaken mostly to provide food, clothing, education equipment, medical attention and housing for the Tsunami affected people and areas.

However the rehabilitation of one important and necessary area of the social structure was left untouched, namely that of health infrastructure and under these circumstances, after discussions with the Ministry of Health, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed in March 2005 between the Government of Sri Lanka and Celltel Lanka (Pvt.) Ltd. to rehabilitate the Gramodaya Health Centres extending along the tsunami affected western, southern and eastern coastal belt to the value of Rs.180 million in the following three categories:

a) Demolish and reconstruct on the same land those Centres that were badly damaged;

b) Construction of new Gramodaya Health Centres inland for the benefit of families who are relocated and

c) Renovate and repair those Centres that were not badly damaged and could be used in the future.

A Gramodaya Health Centre provide health facilities to the rural Sri Lanka where the transport services are poor. The Centre is a 150 sq metre buildings in which a midwife is available to conduct clinics regularly in post and pre natal matters, women's health, infant and child care, family planning and healthcare, counseling and a host of other topics by the visiting Medical Officers of Health.

The first Gramodaya Health Centre, of which construction commenced last year was completed and opened on 14th January 2006. The balance were built and completed – the last being done so on 28 February 2007, thus bringing the total now in operation to 32. Twelve of these Health Centres are in the Eastern province. These clinics are provided with furniture and fittings and hospital equipment too.

Last August the company undertook to build the final Gramodaya Health Centre under the programme in Thambuluvil, which is about 20 kms north of Pottuvil. This is an area that was very badly affected by the tsunami and much in need of a strong health infrastructure. With the construction of this Health Centre at Thambuluvil, Celltel Lanka (Pvt.) Ltd covered the entire tsunami affected coastline, extending from Panadura to the North of Batticaloa .

When fully completed and functional there is no doubt this project will bring much joy and satisfaction to all those who participated in making it a reality. Gramodaya Health Centres are a boon and indeed bring much relief to those folk who live in difficult conditions in extreme rural areas, and also to those in the tsunami affected areas of this country.

- Asian Tribune -

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