Areas affected by the war in the North and East of Sri Lanka are still recovering from the three decade long civil war that ceased in 2009. Local health care provision, whilst making tremendous achievements against all the odds, is still sub-optimal.
In particular, the whole of Northern Province, with a population of over 1,000,000 is served by only 3 cardiologists – 2 in Jaffna district and 1 in Vavuniya district. However, there is no cardiology or echocardiogram (echo/ ultrasound scan of the heart) service in the other three districts of the Northern Province (Mannar, Killinochi and Mullaitivu).
The Health Ministry of Northern Province has requested Assist RR to help reduce the work load on the three cardiologists by providing free echocardiogram clinics in the first instance in Mannar, which has a population of approximately 100,000 people and has a long list of patients for echo or cardiology input. As there is no cardiologist in Mannar, the patients will have to make long and uncomfortable journeys to Jaffna or Vavuniya to see the specialist. Therefore Assist RR will run echo clinics every 3 months with the help of volunteer echo specialists from abroad. We will aim to scan 250 patients in one week.
This is an exciting opportunity for cardiologists and physiologists who can perform echocardiogram on a voluntary basis.
We have teamed up with Dr Mayooran Shanmuganathan, a cardiologist from the UK, to hold regular echocardiogram clinics.
Our first project will be in Mannar, in the North of Sri Lanka.
The local general physicians who are in charge of these patients will organise them to attend our week long echo clinic in June 2017. The echo reports will go back to the general physicians, who will then decide on the appropriate management and/or referral to the tertiary cardiac centres.
Benefits for the volunteers:
– Exciting opportunity to help people who do not have access to cardiologists/investigations.
– You will be the first people to participate in such a programme in Sri Lanka. This has been approved by the officials in the Ministry of Health in Sri Lanka.
– You can boost your skills in performing and interpreting echocardiogram independently. We have access to a new GE Vivid T18 echocardiogram machine. We will aim to perform 50 focussed echo studies with succinct reports in one day.
– Free accommodation, food and travel inside Sri Lanka.
– You can stay longer and enjoy the rest of Sri Lanka – one of the best tourist destinations in the world.
– You will only travel as a group of 2 or 3 and we will be picked up at the Airport and escorted by the charity’s representatives.
If any cardiologists are interested in volunteering for this project, please confirm your acceptance in writing by emailing to Dr Mayooran Shanmuganathan at firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP.
Please attach a short description about your field of work and in particular full details about your capabilities in echocardiogram. We are looking for 2-3 volunteers. We will endeavour to confirm your place on this project within 48 hours of receiving your confirmation. Even if you cannot attend the dates mentioned above but are willing to help with one of the clinics in the future (dates TBA, roughly every 3 months), please let me know.
We may be able to subsidise your air ticket costs through funds raised from well wishers. If anyone is willing to support this initiative, please kindly consider providing your financial contribution through the link below.
Dr Velautham Sarveswaran
Assist Resettlement & Renaissance