Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cancer Hospital

The power of human spirit

Trail Cancer Hospital - Tellippalai.

Hi Nathan,

Congratulations on opening of the Trail Cancer Hospital. I am really glad to see your vision has come true. Our family is proud of you, Priya and all other members who made this possible. We are very excited to hear about the care you are providing to those who need it. No words to express our happines..
We would like to thank each and every one who were apart of this project.

Kuru Aravinthan.

Trail Cancer Hospital - Tellippalai.

With the Trail Cancer Hospital being open to the public at the Tellippalai Base Hospital, the people of the north now have better access to a state-of-the-art treatment centre in the heart of the Jaffna District. Trail initiators – Director of Colours of Courage Trust Nathan Sivagananathan and CEO MAS Linea Aqua Sarinda Unamboowe; Director/ Medical Superintendent of Tellippalai Base Hospital Dr. M. Umashankar and Tehani Renganathan stepped-up to provide a familiarisation tour of the hospital.

The hospital beds were placed in a manner to allow personal space for the patients as well. The paediatric ward looked very lively with paintings; a colourful indoor play area equipped with a library, TV and a computer; and an outdoor play area which makes a stay at the hospital a more fun experience for the children.Today the Trail Cancer Hospital can accommodate up to 120 patients in four wards dedicated to paediatric, male and female patients. Apart from that an outpatient department chemotherapy area, pharmacy and rest room for doctors and nurses in each ward are also made available. The hospital also has its own auditorium which will serve the purpose of carrying out awareness sessions and workshops about cancer and training sessions as well.

During war time, patients were sent to Maharagama with the assistance of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). They were taken to Kankesanthurai or Trincomalee and were then sent to Colombo by air or sea. But due to the financial difficulties, language barriers and lack of accommodation, while their loved ones underwent treatment in Maharagama, most of these families did not opt in to travel to Maharagama. With the Trail Cancer Hospital opening up these families can be treated at a more familiar environment closer to home.” For Nathan, the initiation of Trail was more personal: “Trail started off small with the view of eradicating cancer and creating awareness among communities through various mediums. I lost my sister to cancer seven years ago and I was determined to provide people with access to proper treatment for cancer since then, and had the idea of building a cancer hospital in Jaffna. Sarinda’s idea of the walk gave me an opportunity to team up with his to raise funds for the cause.”

Twelve individuals who are categorised as Trail Blazers walked the entire stretch of 670 kilometres from Dondra Head to Point Pedro in a span of 27 days. Eshan Tudawe, a young and energetic employee of MAS, was among them. Similar to Nathan, Eshan too had lost one of his loved ones to cancer and joined the walk as a mark of respect: “I consider myself as an adventurous person and a nature trekker. I think everyone in Sri Lanka has encountered at least one case of cancer in their families. My mother’s first cousin Rohan Wijeratne was one of the people I looked up for and he succumbed to cancer at the age of 49. The thought of walking for a cause was a great experience and having friends, family, and colleagues cheering for you along the walk poured in a massive amount of energy.”

An employee of MAS Silhouettes Kulasingham Kularanjan volunteered to ensure the health and safety aspects of the walkers. He had walked for 15 days and then was given the duties of organising media coverage, building public relations with the communities in the North Central and Northern Provinces.

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