Colombo, Dec 6 (newsin.asia) – Sri Lanka’s President, Maithripala Sirisena, on Wednesday laid the foundation stone for a LKR 12 billion (US$ 78.6 million), state of the art kidney hospital, which will be constructed in Polonnaruwa, in the island’s north central province, with Chinese assistance.
The Sri Lankan government has said the hospital will be the largest in South Asia and will provide medical assistance to thousands of patients suffering from Chronic Kidney Disease.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony, President Sirisena said that this hospital was a symbol of the strong friendship shared between China and Sri Lanka and he thanked China’s President Xi Jinping and his government for their continuous support.
“Sri Lanka and China have been friends since ancient times. This year marks the 60th anniversary of our bilateral relations and within these past 60 years, no matter who has governed this country, China has always helped Sri Lanka’s development program,” Sirisena said.
He said this hospital would help the Sri Lankan people, especially the patients who were suffering from kidney diseases to get medical help and the significant of this hospital was that it is fully sponsored by the Chinese government.
Health Minister, Rajitha Senaratne, speaking at the inauguration said that this hospital would be the first of its kind to be constructed in Sri Lanka, and would immensely help strengthen the health sector of the country.
Senaratne said that President Sirisena had approached the Chinese leaders over the necessity of a Kidney Hospital in Sri Lanka, and China’s President Xi Jinping had immediately responded and offered his government’s help.
Senaratne added that presently many people, especially farmers, were suffering from Chronic Kidney Disease in several districts and steps had been taken to ban harmful fertilizers.
He said steps were also being taken to import more dialysis machines for the benefit of the patients.
China’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka Yi Xianliang said that this hospital was being built following consultations between President Sirisena and President Xi as kidney disease had become a major issue of concern in the island country.
Yi said after President Sirisena was elected to power in 2015, he had discussed this matter pertaining to kidney disease with many world leaders including the Chinese leaders.
He said China and Sri Lanka had always shared strong ties and the Chinese government had always assisted Sri Lanka which is why an immediate decision was taken to construct this hospital in Polonnaruwa.
The Ambassador further said China had assisted many rural schools and will do more to help strengthen many sectors.
“Under President Maithripala Sirisena, ties between China and Sri Lanka have only strengthened further,” he said.
The Polonaruwa Kidney Hospital, constructed close to the Polonnaruwa General Hospital will serve not only the kidney patients in the North-Central Province, but also all kidney patients in the country.
The facilities of the hospital include kidney transplant surgeries, blood dialysis services, clinical service, laboratory service and counseling service.
The hospital consists of a Basic Treatment Unit, Out Patients’ Department, Wards with 200 beds to treat residential patients, 100 blood dialysis beds, surgeries with modern technology, two Intensive Care Units and a blood bank.
At present, around 6,500 kidney patients from the Polonnaruwa district and another 13,000 kidney patients from the Anuradhapura district undergo dialysis or require facilities for dialysis.