The project consisted of 16 fully furnished bedrooms that provide 32 beds and adequate restroom facilities was coordinated by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority
Hon. Minister of Health and Indigenous Medicine Services Pavithra Wanniarachchi, declared open the newly built nursing quarters, which has constructed with the objective of improving the accommodation of nurses who are working in the National Institute of Infectious Diseases ( IDH hospital) in Angoda.
Due to the urgency of the project, a project team was established by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), led by its Chairman General Daya Ratnayake. To fast-track the construction (In less than 3 weeks), the building was designed to be pre-fabricated. While the SLPA was responsible for the design, contract management and supervision, construction services were provided by the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF). The project consisted of 16 fully furnished bedrooms that provide 32 beds and adequate restroom facilities.
Participating at the inauguration ceremony, Hon. Minister of Health and Indigenous Medicine Services Pavithra Wanniarachchi stated that the IDH Hospital is a national asset to the country.
“From the very earliest reports of this disease in China, His Excellency the President has been very keen on this. Thereafter, necessary measures were taken to prevent the spread of the disease throughout the country. Due to the leadership of the President and the Prime Minister, we have been able to reduce the community spread of the disease. As a measure of prevention, the Covid 19 Task Force was established to develop strategies to combat the pandemic. This project would not have been possible without General Daya Ratnayake, a member of the Task Force, ” said Minister Wanniarachchi.
“Services of the Director of the IDH hospital and all staff members are remarkable. There are many nominally unsung heroes who have risked their lives to fight this pandemic. I wish all of them more courage. Dr. Sukumar, who provided financial support to this project, is also grateful to the nation, ” she added,
The Chairman of Sri Lanka Ports Authority, Daya Ratnayake, addressed the gathering and briefed the valuable and timely role of Covid19 Pandemic Task Force set up by His Excellency the President. He has acknowledged the supports of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority officials, the Sri Lanka Air Force members, the Director and all the staff of the IDH hospital in completing this project in a very short period.
Speaking the gathering Gen. Ratnayake said, “As a country, we are overcoming a great challenge in tackling this pandemic due to the right leadership and the timely decisions of the President. I am proud to have completed this project with the contribution of Dr Sukumar and others. We have already made plans for a bigger project in the future. ”
Meanwhile, addressing the gathering, Director of the IDH Hospital, Dr Hasitha Aththanayake stated that the hospital was in dire need of this facility for nurses.
“Over 150 nurses are working in this hospital. Earlier we were able to provide hostel facilities to only 30 nurses. But with this great support, we can facilitate 32 more nurses. Many nurses and other workers working in this hospital were denied accommodations by owners after the Covid-19 pandemic was declared. Therefore, this new project will solve a huge problem we had, ”said Dr Hasitha Attanayake.
Dr Neesha Rockwood, addressing the gathering representing the family of Dr Sukumar who was the main financial contributor to the project, said that it was a great honour for her family to be able to support this philanthropic project.
Meanwhile sending a message Dr Sukumar says that “it is our privilege, on this holy day of Vesak, to donate this much-needed and fully furnished facility to the IDH. While we “New York Royalists” have left Sri Lanka for higher education and career advancement, our hearts are still with the motherland. We attribute our success abroad to our years of rigorous and free education in Sri Lanka, where we were taught the value of integrity, teamwork, tenacity, and unconditional service for the betterment of humanity. Since the formation of our Alumni Association in 1993, more than 27 years ago, we have been involved in charitable activities in both Sri Lanka and the United States, all with the goal of improving lives of those less fortunate.”
“Covid 19 has pushed the global healthcare system to its limits. Sri Lanka’s rapid and thorough response has led to an impressive containment effort. The service of the doctors and nurses at IDH plays an important role within this multifaceted effort. Hence, the request to build this wing to house hospital staff was considered a critical need by our Alumni Foundation. We are happy to have worked with the dedicated team from the Sri Lanka Air Force, and the Ports Authority, who worked tirelessly day and night to make this a reality today. The encouragement and support of the Principal Royal College and the Royal College Union (RCU) are also acknowledged. Finally, to the doctors, nurses and healthcare workers of IDH, you are true heroes, and we salute you for putting your lives on the line to treat the vulnerable without any expectations! It is said that those who follow this principle are the happiest people, as is truly evident today. Although separated by oceans and continents, we are always here to help Sri Lanka and its people achieve greatness and become a safe and just society for all.”
Secretary to the Ministry of Health and Indigenous Medicine Bhadrani Jayawardena, Managing Director of Sri Lanka Ports Authority Captain Athula Hewavitharana, Deputy Managing Director Upali De Zoysa and several senior officials of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority and invitees representing the government as well as private entities were present on the occasion. The organizing committee decided to hold the event with the limited invitees due to prevailing masseurs in countering the pandemic in the country.