US funds critical maternity and neonatal equipment for Sri Lanka

The US 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 Mrs Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine by Martin Kelly, Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy in Colombo  at a handover ceremony attended by Tim Sutton, Representative, UNICEF Sri Lanka and 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. The 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.

“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,” Martin Kelly, U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission to Sri Lanka and Maldives said.

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.  (Colombo Gazette)