India sends critical medical aid to SL amid health emergency (Ld), Health News, ET HealthWorld

Colombo, India, on Friday delivered a large shipment of essential medical aid to Sri Lanka, which is going through a medical emergency with many life-saving drugs running out of stock, forcing doctors to delay major surgeries.

Indian High Commissioner to Colombo, Gopal Baglay, on Friday handed over the consignment comprising 107 types of life-saving drugs weighing over 760 kg to Sri Lankan Health Minister Channa Jayasumana.

Due to the urgency, the consignment was delivered quickly using the Indian Navy vessel Ghariyal.

“Other medical dispatches in response to specific requests from various medical entities operating in all parts of Sri Lanka are also scheduled from India,” Baglay said in a statement.

The urgent supply of life-saving drugs follows an offer from India’s External Affairs Minister, S. Jaishankar, to help the island’s Central Hill-country Hospital in Peradeniya, who announced in late March that all surgeries scheduled had to be suspended due to lack of drugs and consumables.

Disturbed by the news, Jaishankar, who was visiting Sri Lanka last month, had tasked Baglay with discussing how India could help.

A week later, the first week of April, all major medical unions collectively warned and declared a medical crisis as doctors and hospitals reported widespread drug shortages.

The Government Physicians Association (GMOA), the country’s largest doctors’ union, then urged the World Health Organization and all countries to provide Sri Lanka with much-needed medicines and consumables immediately.

Last week, public sector pharmacists working in public hospitals warned that 50% of medical supplies were out of stock.

The chairman of the Society of Government Pharmacists, Ajith P Thilakarante, had said that 525 drugs, including some life-saving drugs, and 5,376 medical supplies were not available in hospitals.

Sri Lanka’s economic crisis leading to a medical crisis has seen hospitals postpone surgeries and medical unions declare a national health emergency due to a shortage of life-saving drugs.

On Thursday, former Sri Lankan cricket captain Sanath Jayasuriya, who met with the Indian High Commissioner, appreciated India’s support in this critical situation and specifically requested the supply of essential cancer drugs and medical supplies. other vital medicines.

“The cricketing ace appreciated India’s support in the form of essential supplies including medicine,” the high commission tweeted.

India has provided nearly $3 billion in economic aid to Sri Lanka in 2022, including a $1 billion line of credit for basic necessities; Line of credit of 500 million dollars for the purchase of petroleum products; bilateral currency exchange of $400 million; and over $1 billion under the Asian Clearing Union Framework.