International Medical Corps mobile health clinics assist thousands in Sri Lanka
March 21, 2007
Trincomalee, Sri Lanka/ Los Angeles, CA, USA, March 21, 2007--Although fighting and insecurity continue to affect large parts of eastern Sri Lanka, International Medical Corps will establish two mobile health clinic teams to assist the local population. People living in Southern Trincomalee District, where International Medical Corps has worked in the past, have been affected by the ongoing conflict and are still recovering from the 2004 tsunami. Both host communities and large groups of internally displaced people are now in desperate need of medical assistance. Four International Medical Corps doctors will work in the area, one not served by any other international health organization.
“International Medical Corps has worked in this area before and our teams were able to navigate floods, bad roads and artillery attacks to get to the populations in need,“ says Gareth Price-Jones, International Medical Corps Country Director for Sri Lanka. “This project has been specifically designed to be flexible, so that we can respond rapidly to the changing situation and ensure that we can get to the people in need, people affected by both the Tsunami and, increasingly, by conflict and insecurity.”
With funding from Stichting Vluchteling, the Dutch Refugee Council, International Medical Corps plans to carry out an estimated 200 mobile clinic visits at a range of different sites and provide approximately 12,000 medical consultations. At least 800 children will be screened for immunizations during the next six months. In addition, International Medical Corps will equip 30 community health workers with bicycles so they can inform people in remote settlements about the mobile clinics and follow up on patients in recovery.
Trincomalee District in Eastern Sri Lanka, and Batticaloa district just to the south, both struggle from the impact of over 20 years of conflict as well as the 2004 tsunami. The ethnically mixed area is a flash point for tensions between communities as well as the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Violence in Sri Lanka, especially in the Eastern Province, has escalated over the last year with fierce fighting and large scale displacement of civilians from all three affected communities.
International Medical Corps entered Sri Lanka immediately after the December 26, 2004 tsunami, establishing programs in Ampara, Batticaloa, and Hambantota Districts in the Eastern Province, which suffered the greatest destruction and highest death tolls in the tsunami. International Medical Corps has worked diligently to alleviate the suffering of residents and internally displaced populations in these areas by providing a variety of mental and primary health care services and training programs, implementing livelihood initiatives, and constructing health facilities.
Since its inception nearly 30 years ago, International Medical Corps’ mission has been consistent: relieve the suffering of those impacted by war, natural disaster, and disease, by delivering vital health care services that focus on training. This approach of helping people help themselves is critical to returning devastated populations to self-reliance. For more information visit: www.InternationalMedicalCorps.org