18 June 2020, Colombo Sri Lanka: The U.S. Government’s development agency, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), has supplied critical medical supplies worth USD $102,310 (LKR Rupees 19,054,214) to the Family Health Bureau (FHB) of the Ministry of Health and Indigenous Medical Services (MOH), to provide specialist care for high-risk COVID-19 patients requiring maternal and neonatal care.
The critical equipment, which will support Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 response was handed over to Hon. (Mrs) Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine by Mr. Martin Kelly, Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy in Colombo at a handover ceremony attended by Mr. Tim Sutton, Representative, UNICEF Sri Lanka and Mr. Reed Aeschliman, Mission Director USAID Sri Lanka and Maldives.
The equipment included two Infant Incubators, four Labour Room Beds, four Cardiotocography (CTG) Machines, four Infant Warmers, four Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Machines, four Infusion Pumps, and four Syringe Pumps. These supplies will equip four COVID-19 isolation and treatment units specialized in maternal and neonatal care and were procured in direct response to the needs of the MOH.
Martin Kelly, U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission to Sri Lanka and Maldives, said “Through the generosity of the American people, we are happy to help make deliveries safer for mothers and babies during this global pandemic. For decades, the U. S. has been the world’s largest provider of bilateral assistance in global health — putting countries across the world in a better position to respond during crises”.
Mr. Tim Sutton, Representative, UNICEF Sri Lanka said: “We thank the United States for their continued support to Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 response. The critical medical items handed over today will help to ensure that mothers and babies impacted by COVID-19 now or in the future have the best possible care and the ability to fully recover. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the United States as Sri Lanka’s response to COVID-19 progresses”
The United States’ $600,000 grant to Sri Lanka through UNICEF supports the government’s multipronged response to COVID-19 including, risk communication and community engagement; hand washing and infection control (IPC); and improved water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in designated high-risk health-care facilities, critical hygiene and infection prevention supplies to high-risk communities and treatment centres, as well as supplement data collection and analysis to improve overall COVID-19 emergency response.
Left to right: Mr. Kanchana Jayaratne, Coordinating Secretary to the Minister of Health Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, Mr. Chandragupta, Additional Secretary (Development), Hon. (Mrs) Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, Mr. Martin Kelly, Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy in Colombo, Mr. Reed Aeschliman, Mission Director USAID Sri Lanka and Maldives; Dr. Safina Abdulloeva, Child Survival and Development Programme Manager, UNICEF Sri Lanka, Mr. Tim Sutton, Representative, UNICEF Sri Lanka, Dr Dhammica Rowel, Health and Nutrition Officer, UNICEF Sri Lanka, and Dr Nethmini Thenuwara, National Programme Manager (Intranatal and Newborn Care)
For further information about UNICEF please contact:
Jeremy Sprigge, CommunicationSpecialist, UNICEF Sri Lanka,
USAID is the development agency of the United States Government. USAID has provided development and humanitarian assistance worldwide for more than 50 years. The U.S. Government has invested over $2 billion to benefit the people of Sri Lanka since 1956. For more information about USAID Sri Lanka, visit https://www.usaid.gov/sri-lanka
About UNICEF Sri Lanka
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF Sri Lanka, visit www.unicef.lk