Japan provides Rs 1.3B medical grant


Japan’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka Hideaki Mizukoshi yesterday (18) signed an exchange of note for grant assistance to provide Japanese Yen (JPY) 500 million (Rs 1.3 billion) worth of Japanese medical equipment to Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital to strengthen its capabilities to combat non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and enhance social and humanitarian development in Sri Lanka which has been highly affected due to present dire economic conditions.

Japan Embassy in Sri Lanka in this connection also said that the hospital was constructed in 1983 with grant aid from the Japanese Government as a token of appreciation and friendship to former President J.R. Jayewardene for his generous encouragement of Japan’s return to the international community at the San Francisco Peace Conference.

Augmenting the historical relationship, Japan will provide latest equipment to the hospital such as CT angiography, catheter surgical equipment, transplantation devices, ophthalmology equipment, as well as establishing the new dental ward, to enhance treatment and surgical capabilities for NCDs including cancer, stroke, and diabetes, while reducing the rate of blindness and caries in Sri Lanka.

NCDs patients account for over 80 per cent of all deaths in Sri Lanka and they tend to be at higher risk of severe symptoms and death when infected with Covid-19, the Embassy said. Furthermore, the current economic crisis poses a significant risk of increased NCDs due to deteriorating health and nutritional status to many citizens. “We hope this assistance will improve diagnosis and treatment of NCDs and help reduce related mortality and incidence in Sri Lanka, especially in the Western Province,” it added. Japan will remain committed to help overcome Sri Lanka’s economic crisis, together, as a long-standing development partner of Sri Lanka, the Embassy in conclusion said. (PA)